Get moving like this to banish tension

In today’s video, Yoga teacher Wendy Krauss Talis will show you terrific Yoga flow centered on a pose called “Thread the Needle.”

This flow combines Sun Salutation, High Plank, Thread the Needle and Cat/Cow poses; all of which, when combined in this flow, become a wonderful way to open up the joints and stretch the muscles of the side flanks, spine, hips and shoulders.

You might be surprised how much you’ll notice your upper body needs this stretch and opening. Most of us think of stretching and focus on our legs and hips, but your upper body can benefit just as much if not more, especially since it can hold so much tension.

Give it a try and let us know how it makes you feel…

How to thread the needle

Stand with feet together and breathe in as you raise both arms up above the head.

Lower the arms, palms facing back, as you swan dive forward, touching the floor at the end of this motion. Come as close as you can without struggling.

Step back, one leg at a time, into “Downward Facing Dog.” Heels down, hips high, relax your neck, and keep knees a little “soft” (bent) as needed.

Come up onto the balls of your feet as you move into a “High Plank,” then place your left knee down.

Now turn your right foot out and reach your right arm up toward the ceiling. This will lift your rib cage away from the floor.

Option: You can place your extended arm over your head and lift your right leg up, making a straight line from your foot to your fingertips.

Now it’s time to “thread the needle.”

Put your right knee on the floor, turn your right palm over and thread it under and through your torso.  You will extend your right arm past your left, aligning the arm along the floor until the arm and your right ear are touching the floor.

Relax for a moment and inhale as you raise your left arm high then bent it to rest on your back. If you cannot naturally hold this position, you can grab the back of your waistband or shirt for support. Here, Wendy is able to wrap her left arm past her back and hand over her right thigh. This may be difficult for some, so just do as you are able… it all takes time!

Remain in this position as long as you like, to open up the shoulders.

When you’re ready to come out of this position, place your left hand under your face and press up and adjust back into Table Top position.

Cat and Cow time…

From Table Top, you will now do “Cat and Cow” to relax the spine. Begin my curling your spine up and lowering your head as you inhale. Exhale as you move into the opposite position, with spine concave and head up.

Now repeat the entire sequence from Sun Salutation, High Plank, Thread the Needle, and Cat/Cow on the opposite side.

This is a great sequence for the body, to open up the spine, sides, shoulders. Take your time, follow the video for details and flow to thread the needle. Most importantly, relax and enjoy!

Dr. Mark Wiley

By Dr. Mark Wiley

Dr. Mark Wiley is an internationally renowned mind-body health practitioner, author, motivational speaker and teacher. He holds doctorates in both Oriental and alternative medicine, has done research in eight countries and has developed a model of health and wellness grounded in a self-directed, self-cure approach. Dr. Wiley has written 14 books and more than 500 articles. He serves on the Health Advisory Boards of several wellness centers and associations while focusing his attention on helping people achieve healthy and balanced lives through his work with Easy Health Options® and his company, Tambuli Media.