A push-up or pull-up is all about upper body strength and there are many basic Yoga postures that can prepare you for the challenging arm-balances, tone your arms, shoulders, chest and upper back.
Downward Facing Dog (Adhomukhasan) : A pose that is repeated several times in Akshar Power Yoga flows, helps you stretch your upper body and improve your upper body strength.
Variation – you can increase the intensity by lifting one leg up, at a time, whilst holding a downward dog.
Plank (Santoolanasan) : Again, one of the postures that is practiced in every Akshar Power Yoga class. Holding a plank for 1 minute, every day, will strengthen your arms and chest and also help you increase your core-strength.
Variation – Similarly, you can hold a plank on your elbows.
Once confident, you can practice a complete side-plank (Vashishtasan) by shifting your body weight to right/left hand and practice a leg raise.
Chaturanga : A powerful posture that helps you build your triceps and tone your wrists and arms. From plank, bend your hand at the elbow and bring your body parallel to the floor. Hold the posture by balancing just a few inches above the floor.
Moving Between the above Asanas : In Akshar Power Yoga flows we constantly move from one asana to the other, focusing on the upper body strength that will prepare your for advance postures such as Bakasan, Koundiniyasan or even hand-stand. For example, moving from a downward dog to chaturanga, holding the posture for a few counts and back to downward dog. Advance practitioners can practice this with leg lifts. Another powerful exercise is doing 10 push-ups daily or simply moving between plank and chaturanga. Repeat these for at least 10 counts, daily.