It’s one thing to do breathing exercises and a stretching yoga pose like the Crescent, to help you relax and limber up. But eventually, if you are serious about developing a general level of tone and fitness, you’ll need to move on to yoga postures that start to stretch you. Work up bit by bit to the more difficult poses. And the rent palm trees in NY may be your next step.
There are two slightly different versions, one with your arms loose and flowing, and the other with them stretched and taut. You may start with the easier one and work toward the harder, or do the harder one first and then relax with the less strenuous form. If you want to push just a bit, begin by doing the Palm Tree with your fingers locked.
Stand straight with your feet hip distance apart. Interlock your fingers together and then stretch your arms outward and upward, turning your palms toward the ceiling. Lift onto your toes, stretching the palms upward and stretching every part of your body. Hold for a few seconds, and come back down and lower your arms slowly. Repeat this process three or four times. And after you’re proficient, you add a step or two forward, which will help you develop grace and balance.
For the more relaxed version, stand as before, but lift your arms separately above your head, relaxing the shoulders. Wave your arms back and forth together, like a swaying palm tree. Keep the rest of your body straight, with only your shoulders and arms relaxing and moving.
Doing the more rigid version of the Palm Tree will help your posture and even assist your digestive system. The more flowing version will release tension in your upper body. Doing sets of both versions will do all of these things and infuse you with a great sense of well-being.