Upper Body Awareness and Arm Control Exercise Videos
The youtube videos included below tend to focus on upper body awareness and control with a focus on the ribcage, shoulder blades and positions where the arms support the weight of the body. Note that inverted poses like headstand and handstand are included in the Yoga Pose Inversion Videos Page.
When teaching people to feel their body I have them move between two extremes, maximum space and maximum relaxation.
Once they've learned to feel these endpoints the task is then to feel the point midway between these two extremes.
With the ribcage, creating space between the ribs and between the ribcage and pelvis adds tension to the intercostal spaces and to the abdomen.
With just the right amount of tension, the ribcage and waist have sensation and minimum effort controllability.
In this set of exercises learn to feel and control the front, sides and back of the ribcage.
Breathing techniques with the spine bent backwards.
One action that is often missed in scapular stabilization is stabilizing the ribcage.
And so a first step to learning scapular control is to stabilize your ribcage (and while you are at it, your cervical spine.)
With ribcage awareness developed first, it is then easier to practice moving your scapulae relative to your ribcage.
Here's a step-by-step video for learning chaturanga dandasana.
It's especially designed for people who don't know how to use their arms and shoulders. And so a large part of this video shows some simple exercises for developing awareness and control of the upper arms, the external rotators of the shoulders (infraspinatus and teres minor), and the serratus anterior.
I introduced each of these elements one by one and show how to feel and then use these elements together when learning to push up into chaturanga dandasana and/or straight elbow plank pose.
I also include exercises for learning to use the feet, legs and hips.
Rather than focusing on visual alignment, the exercises in this video teach you how to feel your body so that you can find "good alignment" by feel while doing plank pose.
This series of side plank exercises is designed to help feel and control the shoulder and scapula when the arm is supporting body weight.
It's also to help you feel and control the thigh and hip when the knee or foot is supporting some of the weight of the body.
First a look at some basic shoulder actions to prepare for dolphin yoga pose, including arm rotations.
The sequence of preparation exercises leading up to dolphin pose ideally makes it easier to learn and also, hopefully, gives you a better feel for your body.
I've included instruction for both the "forearms parallel" version as well as a "hands clasped" version of dolphin pose.