This shape invites balance and strength in the body. It is a preparatory form for other postures, such as cat-cow and bird-dog. As always, listen to your body and practice caution with any asana.
Come on to your hands and knees. Place your knees in line with the hip points and either press the tops of your feet onto the mat or press the balls of the feet and bottom of the toes onto the mat. Place your hands under your shoulders, and spread your fingers comfortably. Refrain from locking out your elbows. Firm the abdomen and bring your pelvis into a neutral position (i.e. not favoring a major tilt in either direction). Keep the neck long, allowing it to continue as an extension of the spine. Gaze forward and down toward the mat.
DIG A LITTLE DEEPER
Ground down through the feet and knees, as well as the hands and shoulders. If you’re new to this form, start with your index fingers pointed straight toward the top of the mat and adjust according to your comfort and where you can find the most stabilization without straining the wrists. Press down firmly with the thumbs and index fingers, followed by the grip of the other fingers. Use the force of your hands, arms and shoulders to gently push the ground away from you, creating a minor dome shape with your upper body.
PROPS AND OTHER VARIATIONS
- Place a blanket under the knees if you feel any discomfort
Before writing, I started thinking about introducing cat-cow and then I was like, waaaaait a second. Table has so many different uses. Besides being a preparatory form, table is used for transitioning and as a strength builder. Try remaining in table for 3-5 minutes, turning all the muscles in the body on, and tell me that you don’t feel a little heat coming on!
Right before a cat-cow or bird-dog, I really focus on perfecting table. Without grounding myself first, my body tends to fall apart as soon as I lift a limb off the mat.
Always come into table with a beginner’s mind. In order to grow in our physical practice, we can’t lose sight of the basics. Next time you’re here, try to find something new; focus on activating different muscles and remember why their fire is so imperative to getting through more challenging forms.
Now, go on and get your Bharmanasana on! Let me know how it goes.