We all get in our lethargic ruts, when almost nothing sounds as good as lying on the couch and watching TV. This simple exercise essentially the starting point of a push-up is great for lighting your internal fire. You have to engage all the major muscle groups of the body legs, arms, abs and back. A few breaths in this pose and you will feel your internal heat rising. Plank also requires an element of surrender and trust, two things that can help you move past any resistance that might be keeping you from moving forward. Its a great place to explore how merely muscling through with your will isnt always going to help you get where you want to go. In order to stay here for several breaths, youre going to have to go on faith that you can make it just a little longer.
Start on your hands and knees. Be barefoot and on a surface where you wont slip and slide around (like a yoga mat). Your hands should be directly under your shoulders and your knees directly underneath your hips.
Tuck your toes under and slowly straighten your legs into downward-facing dog. Press down through the index knuckles of your hands and reach your heels strongly down toward the floor. Let go of your head, letting it dangle.
Spend a few moments here following your breath. Breathe deeply through your nose.
On an inhale roll forward so that your arms are straight and your shoulders are directly above your hands. If you need to move your feet forward or backward to get the right alignment, do so.
Stay here. You will look as if you are at the top of a push-up, with your body in one even line. Keep breathing deeply through your nose.
Look down at the floor so that the back of your neck can stay nice and long.
Lift your belly, thighs and calves up toward the ceiling.
Let your heart sink down toward the floor just a hair. This integrates your arms into the shoulder joints, and also represents the element of surrender. Trust yourself. You can do this.
When you feel your arms start to shake and the heat rising to your head, stay for one more breath.
Push pack in to downward dog, bring your knees to the floor, and sit back on your heels. Rest for a moment until your breathing regulates itself.
Repeat up to five times.