Prenatal Yoga – Arm and Leg Reaches

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 14,479
    Yoga teacher Kathy Duke demonstrates how to strengthen your lower back with opposite arm and leg reaches.

    Kathy Duke

    Kathy's love of yoga began when she started taking classes nearly 10 years ago. In 2000, she completed the Health Advantage Yoga Center Teacher Training Program with Betsey Downing and Doug Keller. Since then, she has studied with Kaustaub Desikachar, David Frawley, John Friend, JJ Gormley, Judith Lasater and Erich Schiffman and has completed prenatal courses. An Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher with Yoga Alliance, Kathy Duke also holds certifications from the American Council on Exercise and the American College of Sports Medicine. Her teaching experience includes leading classes and individual sessions in the corporate environment, health clubs, studios and in-home, she has volunteered as an EMT and instructed CPR and first aid certifications. After earning a BFA from Virginia Commonwealth University, she has worked in the health and fitness industry for more than seventeen years. Kathy's comprehensive style emphasizes alignment and form of yoga postures, and integrates breathing and relaxation techniques into classes. Kathy is sensitive to the needs of beginers and accomodates those with more experience. Kathy currently teaches classes and workshops at the Health Advantage Yoga Studio in Herndon, VA and The Women's Club in Chantilly, VA and presents yoga seminars in the Northern Virginia area.

    HI, I am Kathy Duke. I teach prenatal yoga at the Health Advantage Yoga Center in Herndon, Virginia. Today, we are doing prenatal yoga. I am going to show you how to strengthen your lower back with opposite arm and leg reaches.

    We will start off with the easiest version and then progress to more challenging way of approaching this exercise. Starting on all fours first have your spine resting in a neutral position.

    On an inhale breath, take the right arm and extend the fingertips straight over head, reaching along side the ear.

    Exhale, release the right arm. On an inhale, let the left arm extend and lengthen forwards, keeping the back in a neutral position. On an inhale, you can try extending the right arm and then bringing the left leg behind you, letting the toes stay on the floor. When you exhale, return to all fours. Inhale, lengthen the left arm and extend the right leg directly behind your hip keeping the toes down for support. On an exhale, release.

    For the most challenging version of this back strengthener, inhale, lifting the right arm and extending the left leg directly behind your hip. On your exhale, release, coming back down, inhale, reaching the left arm and the right leg. Exhaling, release. As you move, try to lengthen the spine. You will feel the belly gently toning to help support you and keep your balance.

    This exercise tones and supports the muscles of the lower back. You can do this six to eight times or when you are ready to rest. Let yourself come all the way back down to the floor, bring your big toes together and let the hips slide backwards into childs pose.

    Resting your hands comfortably, either on the floor or making a pillow to support your forehead. And thats how we strengthen our lower back muscles.

    Next, I am going to show you how to do hip circles.