The following meridian stretches are for the large intestine, triple heater and small intestine meridians which all run up the back of each arm and up the neck.
If you stand with your arms by your sides and your palms facing forwards, the, small intestine, triple heater and large intestine meridians all run up the back of your arm in three parallel lines.
They also then run up your neck to the sides of your face.
To stretch these meridians and the hand and wrist, bend the wrists forwards and curl your fingers. To stretch these meridians at the elbow, bend the elbow completely. To stretch them at the back of the shoulder you can reach your arms forwards and spread your shoulder blades or you can reach one arm at a time across your body. You can also try internally rotating the arm at the shoulder.
To stretch these meridians at the neck you can turn the neck and bend it to either side.
The following meridian stretches are for the back of the wrists. While kneeling, place the back of your hands on the floor with your fingers pointing back. Use your legs to help lift your ribcage up to take some of the pressure off of your wrists. Slowly lean your body back to stretch the back of your wrists. You can do this exercise one hand at a time or you can stretch the wrists of both hands at the same time.
The following meridian stretches are for the back of the shoulders.
I used to call this stretch "The cross chest stretch" but I eventually realized it is like doing dragonfly one arm at a time. While laying on your belly, lift your chest and reach your left arm to the right. Reach your right arm back and place it on the floor. Press your right shoulder and the right side of your ribcage down. Tuck the toes of your left foot under, lift your left knee and use your leg to lift the left side of your pelvis. Lift the left side of your ribcage and also your left shoulder. By lifting the left side of your body you may notice that you increase the stretch to your left shoulder.
For a slightly different stretch, relax the left side of your body, reach your left hand over your right shoulder and reach your right hand up your back and clasp your hands.
In the pictures I have my legs separated in order to start stretching my inner thighs. You can have your legs parallel, particularly when lifting one side of your body or you can spread your legs as shown to try and stretch the meridians of your inner thighs.
Repeat on the other side.
This posture stretches the muscles that attach your shoulder blades to your spine. Cross your arms and grab the opposite foot with each hand. Pull your ribcage back, away from your hands. You can bend your spine or straighten it (2nd and third pictures.)
Then change your hands so that the other hand is on top.
This meridian stretch can be quite extreme. Focus on keeping your neck long and on keeping the front and back of your shoulders open.
Place the back of your hands at the sides of your ribcage. Lengthen your neck, widen your shoulders and press your elbows towards each other. You can press them while inhaling and relax slightly while exhaling.
Once you are comfortable with this variation you can place your elbows between your knees. (You may need to widen your feet in order to get your elbows inside your knees.) Gently use your knees to press your elbows towards each other. Push both your shoulder blades and your collar bones out towards the sides.
Stretching the meridians where they run up the neck can be fairly simple. Sit with your body upright and your chest slightly lifted. Lengthen your neck. Focus on feeling your cervical vertebrae, the seven vertebrae that connect your ribcage to your head. Slowly turn your head to the right and feel each of your cervical vertebrae turning relative to the one below it. Repeat on the other side. Put the same awareness into feeling your neck as you bend your neck to the right and then to the left. When bending your neck to the right you may try activating the muscles on the right side of your neck to assist the stretch. Likewise when bending your neck to the left.
You can follow up these yoga postures with meridian stretches for the front, front of the body and legs.
The seated get up is a way of getting into the one legged squat from a seated position. Even if you aren't interested in one leg squats this video does include tips on stabilizing the knees (at about the 5 minute mark.) Usual muscle activations for knee stability might include the quads, the hamstrings or any of the glutes. This looks at another set of muscles all together. If you like the video or find it helpful, please do share it! Thanks!
Some tips for learning how to do deep squats (without weight). The first tip is on how to stay balanced while squatting.
How do you learn the body weight safely? How do you work towards this pose even if you aren't sure if you are capable of doing it.
Basic yoga poses: standing, sitting, arm balances, binds, twists, inversions, back bending, front bends.
Scapular stabilization becomes a little bit harder when working agains the weight of the body. It can be easier to learn if you gradually increase the amount of body weight the scapular stabilizer muscles are working againsts..
Some hip flexor strengthening exercises.
These yoga poses can be used as arm strengthening exercises.
Turn yoga poses into leg strengthening exercises using floor pressing actions, leverage and friction.
One way of finding and fixing hip problems is to do standing hip strengthening exercises while balancing on one leg.
Knee anatomy for yoga teachers looks at the bones and muscles that comprise the back of the knee in simple terms.
Working towards a kneeling quadriceps stretch you first need to be able to kneel. If you have difficulty kneeling, you may find it helps to activate your quadriceps.
When doing quadriceps stretching it may help to activate and then relax your quadriceps in these standing, lunging, pigeon and supine yoga pose variations.
Some exercises and yoga poses for working towards a lying quadriceps stretch one leg at a time.
What are the benefits of the Dance of Shiva? Arm strength and balance, learning to learn and improving creativity.
This yoga routine video is designed to help you strengthen your arms and legs via the use of friction and pressure. It also teaches you how to become more aware of your body.
The transverse abdominis muscle can be broken down into three parts. Transverse abdominal exercises can thus affect the SI Joint, lumbar spine and the lower portion of the ribcage.
To improve the resiliency of your knees it can help to exercise them in a variety of positions. The following yoga poses can be used as knee strengthening exercises. The trick is to activate your knees while doing them.
Learn to consciously control your quads and hip flexors with Conscious Muscle Control: Quads and Superficial Hip Flexors. This downloadable video course teaches you how to feel and activate your quadriceps (the vastus muscles) as well as the rectus femoris, tensor fascae latae and sartorius muscles.
For any calf stretch you have to bend your ankle forwards to stretch the soleus and/or gastrocnemius. How you bend the ankle forwards can make the stretch more or less effective.
Yoga for flexibility with stretches for the hips, quads, hamstrings, glutes, psoas, shoulders and arms. These yoga stretches are designed to improve flexiblity.