If you're looking for a pose that will strengthen your shoulders and core, and increase flexibility in your spine then give Extended Tabletop a try. I like to move into this pose from a variation of Three-Legged Dog with your knee bent (see the photo after the break). This is a pose I've only seen in Vinyasa Yoga classes, so it's a newer pose that will help prepare you for doing Wheel.
|Sanskrit Name: None Found|
English Translation: Extended Tabletop
- Begin in Down Dog. Lift your right leg straight up, coming into Three-Legged Dog. Try to keep both shoulders parallel with the ground. Then bend your right knee, lifting it as high as you can. Raise your head up and look over your left shoulder. Work on lowering your toes and lifting your head so someday they can touch. Stay like this for five breaths.
- Now lower your right foot all the way to the ground below your foot, and simultaneously lift your right arm off the mat. Once your right foot touches the ground, adjust your toes so they're both pointing away from you. Either point your right arm straight up or extend it over your right ear, bringing your gaze to follow.
- Remain here for another five deep breaths, actively lifting your hips as high as you can, engaging your abs, and trying not to clench your butt. When you're ready to come out of it, lift your right leg off the ground, and rotate your torso so you plant your right palm and come back into Down Dog. Repeat this sequence with the left leg.