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Plank pose is about building strength of body and mind while maintaining a slow, steady breath. Plank pose can bring up feelings of challenge, stress and even frustration and anger. One of the greatest lessons yoga has taught me is to use breath awareness and control to move calmly through stressful intensity or anger.

Yoga is an opportunity to develop healthy coping skills, patience and mindful reacting. I am a firm believer in meditation as a path to peace, and I also believe that the physicality of yoga offers a powerful modality to work through our personal struggles as they arise in different poses that challenge us.

Take plank pose, for example. It challenges the body physically, which brings up your mental and emotional response to challenge. As you stay present and observe your mind and emotions, you will begin to learn more about your response patterns throughout challenges in your life.

See for yourself. Hold plank for as many breaths as you can. As you hold, observe your mental and emotional response. Observe your self-talk and your stories that arise from challenge. Listen to your inner world as you decide to release from the pose. Discover more about yourself throughout the yoga process.

Let’s begin. From hands and knees with your shoulders directly over your wrists, extend your right leg straight back and curl under your toes. Pull your belly button towards your spine and extend your left leg back to meet your right leg. Press the ground away from you while pulling your shoulders down your back. Tuck your tailbone slightly. Peek under your body. If you cannot see your ankles then you need to lift your hips. Now breathe. Listen. Observe without judgment.

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Michelle Ploog is an ERYT (Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher) certified in Kripalu Yoga and Baptiste Power Yoga that inspires students to live a life of passion and purpose. During her eight years of teaching, she has taught yoga to an array of students from professional athletes, celebrities, women in recovery from sex trafficking, and adolescents coping with depression.  She has coached and trained yoga teachers as a facilitator for multiple teacher training programs, featured workshops and immersions around the country.  Her intention for teaching is to create a transformational and opening experience for students to embrace their inner light of greatness. For more about Michelle, please visit www.michelleploog.com and facebook.com/michelleploog.

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