Today we're going to work on the swan. And I find that that's an exercise that people do in class a lot and they don't do it very well. And I've realized that they don't do it well because they don't understand what they're doing. Sometimes they don't understand the purpose. So Amy and I are going to work together and we're going to help you improve your swan.
So go ahead and lie down. And we're going to start with the hands back alongside the rib cage. And once you get into the full swan, I'll tell you how you can put your hands in the optimal position for doing it. So right now, just as long as they're kind of toward the bottom of the ribcage, that's great. So Amy, I'm going to have you lift your head and I want you to stare straight down at the mat.
And when you lift your head up, you're going to align your ears in line with your shoulders the best that you can. And you're still looking down. So now we're going to do a small baby swan. So we call this prone extension or prone press-up. We're just going to come up a little bit.
And then I'm going to have you roll back down bone by bone by bone. Great. And then stop at that place where your head is hovering. That looks good. Again, reach your elbows away and peel up.
And what I want you to do is leave your ribs on the mat. And then roll back down. And that's one of the mistakes. Sometimes people get so goal oriented about getting up off the table that they start to lift their ribs up too soon. So when you go again, leave your lower ribs into the table.
And what that does is it ensures that you extend in your upper spine and that's really important. That's part of the benefit of this exercise. Now, you're going to keep going, pressing into the mat, and peeling up, and look off into the distance, and lift up through your pelvis until you're balancing on your knees. Lift a little higher. Great.
To start rolling down, you're going to bend your elbows, and start to put your thighs down, your pubic bone, your belly button. And notice how she's still looking forward. That's really good. Back to the position. Let's do it again.
So you're going to start with an exhale as you reach your arms away. Leave your lower ribs down for as long as you can. Press up and then inhale whenever it feels natural to. Coming up to the knees and lift the pelvis. Good.
Now, her arms look like they're in a good position. But what I look for in class is if the heel of the hand is more or less under the shoulders. So your arms are vertical. That way your bones of your arms support you and you don't have to use so many shoulder muscles. As you roll down, start to put your thighs down.
Good. And when you roll, start to put down one rib, and the next rib, and the next rib, and the next. Great. Thanks for your help on that. I hope if you put those things into practice, the swan isn't one of those exercises that you hope the teacher forgets.
Oh gosh, I hope they don't do the swan today and actually becomes one of your favorites.
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