The human body is designed to move in spirals and diagonal patterns. Which means movements that combine all three planes of motion -transverse, saggital & frontal- have huge benefits on many levels.
Many traditional yoga asanas and fitness movements are in the saggital plane, which is where we experience flexion and extension. You are in the saggital plane when you walk, run, bike, sun salutations, and so on.
I'm a big advocate of updating our yoga asana (as well as other common fitness movements) so that we can play around in all three planes. Adding on to that is cross body patterning- where we move opposite arm and opposite leg. Think of crawling, or even walking.
Cross body patterning wakes up your nervous system in a big way and if your nervous system is working well with your body, then you are supporting your health, strength, co-ordination and mental focus in a sustainable way.
Getting down to the ground, on your hands and knees is a playful way to explore cross patterning. There are many ways to play with it and this week we will try it in plank.
Watch the video and you will see I am moving side to side, with my opposite leg and hand at the same time. Then I add onto that with opposite leg and hand crossing over as I move to the side.
This can be really challenging if you are not already comfortable in a plank. It can be really challenging even if you are comfortable in plank! You'll see right away how much your brain needs the stimulation of a new movement as you try to coordinate your hands and feet.
Take it slow, you can also try it in a down dog type position to take the load a little bit more out of your core and shoulders.
Try upgrading your plank both for movement and cross-body patterning. You will become more strong, your nervous system will communicate better with your body to increase stamina, coordination and overall functional strength. Enjoy!