As incredible as yoga makes me feel, there’s a decent portion of the flow in which it feels like all I’m doing is trying not to fall. Between balancing poses like tree, single-leg asanas like warrior three, and gracefully moving between each position, yoga definitely challenges stability. This is why it’s so, so key to nail the most basic, foundational poses. One such important pose? Tabletop.
Mastering tabletop, which is essentially quadruped position, means that you’re well-primed to move more solidly through your practice—especially since it’s the base of other poses like cat and cow and bird dog. “What happens with tabletop is that when you’re in the right position, you’re naturally able to support any instability,” says trainer Rahel Ghebremichael, a fitness pro who teaches at Modelfit. So getting your tabletop down means being better able to flow on more stable footing, whether you’re moving into downward dog or priming for something more advanced.
Not only that, but doing tabletop the wrong way can mean not-so-comfortable consequences on your body (think back pain and unnecessary tension). Ghebremichael sees three main mistakes in tabletop form that can lead to this (check out what they are in the video above).
But not doing tabletop the right way doesn’t just sabotage your yoga posture—it will also take away from having your core properly engaged… which you really want to be working in all of the tabletop-based yoga positions like bird-dog. In need of a tabletop tune-up? Ghebremichael’s taking us through the proper way to nail the position in Well+Good’s latest episode of The Right Way. Watch how it’s done like a pro, along with how to incorporate tabletop into your own vinyasa flow, and subscribe to Well+Good’s YouTube channel for more insider fitness tips.
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