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November 2016 Issue
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Stretching for balance

The side plank will build core strength - perfect for carrying packs. Photo: Tony Gazley
A number of yoga poses can help build core strength and arm strength. Core strength includes all the muscles surrounding your mid-section that help stabilise your back. The side plank pose offers these benefits and it’s fun!
  1. Start sitting on your right hip. Bring your right hand to the floor underneath your shoulder. Spread out and point your fingers straight ahead. Press through your fingers and the top of the palm of your hand in order to protect your wrist.
  2. Step your left foot in front of you with your toes pointing to the left side. Your left hand can rest on your left knee.
  3. Keep your lower right leg straight. Flex your right toes towards you.
  4. Press down through your right hand, your left foot and the outside edge of your right foot.
  5. Then lift your hips. If this is difficult, press your left hand on the ground when you lift your hips.
  6. If you feel stable, lift your left arm up. Maybe look up.
  7. Try holding this pose for a few breaths. If that’s too difficult, lift your hips up and down as you breathe in and out. Be sure to try the other side.
  8. When you’re finished, roll your hands in circles to release your wrists.