Yoga Tip: Table Top Position

What’s up, everyone? Welcome to Yoga with
Adriene. I am Adriene and today I’m tackling a question about tabletop position for our
yoga tips episode. I often get a question about this tabletop position, people wondering
if they’re stacking the bones right and just not knowing necessarily if they’re doing it
right which in this particular pose I feel you even though we talk about it’s not about
doing it right it’s about having an experience I did feel like this one warranted a little
extra chat because we can take the action and the alignment of tabletop position into
so many other postures. So, we’re going to come on to all fours. I
have a little towel or you can get a little blankie to pad the knees if you want. And
we’re going to come into what we think is that tabletop position. So we’re going to
start with the palms. So, first of all– and I’m going to do my best to really talk you
through this so you can watch this one time through and then experience it but I’m going
to do my best to really talk you through so you can experience this while the video is
playing rather than having to crank your head the whole time. So, here we’ll take it nice
and slow. This is one of the great things about the foundations of yoga and these yoga
tips is we can really take the time to really break it down in public class or even maybe
you only have an hour for home practice or less, 10 minutes, 30 minutes. You just kind
of want to get through beginning, middle, end, have an experience. But today we’re going to break it down a little
yoga tips yoga school. Okay, so, we’re going to come on to all fours. We’re going to start
with the hands. Hand to earth, Hasta Bandha, as we spread the palms wide, spread them super
wide like starfish. So, it really does start here. There’s this kind of thing that happens
with the hand sometimes when we keep them here or the index finger and thumb get left
behind and we’re crashing into the outer edges of the wrist. So, really truly spread the
palms wide, make sure you’re pressing into that fleshy part between the index finger
and thumb. There is a tendency here to roll to the outer edges of the wrist that can cause
unnecessary strain. So forget about that. Spread the palms wide, press into all 10 knuckles
then go ahead and shift your shoulders over your wrist here so if you need to walk the
palms out, go for it. And we’re gonna keep a soft bend in the elbows as we practice pressing
away from the yoga mat. So, here is a tendency.. there is a tendency again to kind of just
forget about the hands crashing to the outer edge, lock the elbows and shrug the shoulders.
But again just focusing on this part of the body we’re going to press into the palms,
spread the fingertips wide, soften through the elbows and again press away from the earth. This is half the battle right here. Really
paying attention to this. You might begin to rock a little front and back. You might,
particularly if this is new, begin to feel a little shake and that prana kind of vibrating
and the arms getting really tired and this is a good thing. This means we’re working
in the right direction. So, we’re building strength and awareness with proper action
and alignment here. Tops of the shoulders draw away from the ears again. Careful not
to lock the elbows here and keep a nice softness and yes, I really feel this in my arm. I can
feel my left arm trembling a little bit for whatever reason. And I’m stacking the bones.
Great. Now let’s pay attention to the head and neck.
So, tendency here is to just forget the neck is an extension of the spine altogether and
just kind of wait. Also, Yoga with Adrienne, you’re looking at the video so I try to consider
that here so now’s the time where you can take your gaze from the video and draw it
straight down. Imagine me coming and placing a little teacup on the back of your neck.
So the neck is nice and long, arms are strong, we’re working here with a lot of integrity.
When you get tired you’re gonna want to collapse your heart down but see if you can stay pressing
away from the mat, finding a little resistance there. Great. So, there’s lots of space between
the ears and shoulders here, your gaze is straight down, chin is tucked in just slightly
so again we’re not crunching looking forward, we’re not forgetting about it, that nice,
long beautiful neck. Then from the crown of the head we light this
fire, this spark, that slowly travels all the way down through the spine to the tip
of the tailbone right here. And we’re just going to begin to walk the knees underneath
the hips and begin to just light a little light. Light a little fire, shine a little
light is what I meant to say, from the crown of the head to the tip of the tailbone. And
for me rocking a little front and back helps me find that line and you might notice that
you’re dropping the belly here and the tailbone’s rocking up. Or you might notice if the lower
back is really tight that your pelvis naturally comes in, kind of arching the back. So, just
see what’s going on there and if you’re new to the practice it’s starting to hurt your
wrists, you’re not used to working like this, you can take a little break by coming onto
the fists as we explore this posture, rocking front to back. Now, if you start to get a little bored, you
feel like your time is getting wasted, just keep going through your checklist. There’s
so much to do here. Then we’ll come back to stillness. And now we’re going to bring our
awareness to the belly button, the navel. Navel draws up to the spine. So, here’s an
exaggeration of dropping the belly, forgetting about the abdomen, the abdominal wall, and
I’m going to spiral the lower rib cage in together, lengthen the tailbone towards my
heels and essentially I’m going to draw the belly button, the navel, suck it up towards
the back body and the spine. Don’t forget about that long, beautiful neck. And now we’re
starting to cook with gas as my mom would say. Now, notice where your toes are. So we have
the knees underneath the hip points, just a reminder. Now, notice where the toes are.
They might have started to come in here or they might come out. We might just not have
that awareness. See if you can draw the ankles in line with the knees and the toes in line
with the ankles. So, all sorts of fun stuff happens back here and we’re going to create
nice, strong lines. We’re stacking the bones, knees underneath the hip points, wrists underneath
the shoulders and we’re drawing straight lines from those knees to press into the tops of
the feet. Now, inhale in. On an exhale press away from
the earth. Go ahead and slap the tops of your feet down to the mat, press away from your
yoga mat and find that beautiful, beautiful long line from the crown of the head to the
tip of the tailbone as you draw your navel up. So, essentially you can come and have
a little tea party on my back here. Hey, yo! Really want to say it, sorry. Alright, last
but not least we’re going to test out this tabletop connection by lifting the knees,
hovering cat. So, I do this one as a core strengthener but also as a way of really checking
in with all my lines and all my muscles making sure everything’s along for the ride. Because
when I let my knees hover, oh there I have to find that abdominal wall, that navel to
spine. I can’t let my shoulder blades shrug in I have to broaden through the upper back
body to support everything. And when you feel like you’ve had enough you
can lower down, curl the toes under and take a moment and maybe just watch the next portion
if the wrists are tired to maybe relieve any stress in the wrist. This does take time.
This does take time and I encourage you to not write anything off especially if you’re
new to yoga. I feel like for the longest time I kind of just wrote off that I had bad wrists
and then I kept practicing mindfully and with assistance from my mentor and it’s like now
we’re good. And when my wrists start to talk to me I know to counter that or to take a
break and so don’t decide where it ends. Don’t write yourself off. So, you might just watch
this next portion if you need to take some weight off the wrists but I just want to go
through the lines and the actions one more time. So we’re pressing up and out of the palms,
all 10 fingerprints, all of the knuckles and especially the fleshy part between the index
finger and thumb. Then I’m walking my wrist out just a bit, the base of my palm out just
a bit to make sure that I have this nice long line from the top of the shoulder all the
way down to the wrist. Stacking the bones. Then I walk the knees underneath the hip points,
nice long line. And then I walk the ankles in line with the knees. I draw the shoulders
away from the ears and I lift up through the center back body. Find that long, beautiful
neck, gaze straight down then draw your navel up towards your spine. Now, to check this one last time we’ll press
into our foundation and lift up, just a gentle, tiny lift up through the knees, just to check
in with that line or that dunda from the crown of the head to the tip of the tailbone that
stick or that staff that literally holds us up. One more breath here and then exhale release.
Curl the toes under maybe we’re joining our friends here, maybe you’re taking a moment
to rotate the wrist. And that’s our tabletop tips today. So, through your practice you’ll notice that
the more we strengthen everything in this kind of tabletop position the more we can
apply this to our standing postures high lunge, half moon, really all the warriors, plank,
considering this one piece and finding spacing grace through the limbs. So, always building
our poses from the ground up. Thank you so much for your questions. If you
have questions or you want to start a conversation please leave it in the comment box below.
Subscribe to the channel if you haven’t already so you don’t miss anything and be sure to
visit us at for more free goodies. Thank you, my friends. I love this
Kula. I couldn’t be more grateful and more excited for all of us. There’s so much potential.
So, thank you. Namaste.

48 thoughts on “Yoga Tip: Table Top Position

  1. I had a revelation after doing these tips and foundations videos: yoga poses are all active poses. At first, I had this idea that yoga was a mindless practice, but in every posture, it's important to push up and out of the arms, the legs, the shoulders, suck in the belly, etc etc. Even in savasana, I have to actively relax my body, because once I let go and forget what I'm doing, I tighten up. Yoga is active. <3

  2. You really are the best yoga instructor on YouTube. Truly. I have a lot of issues due to losing all of my muscle mass after going through a pretty gnarly battle with Lyme Disease. I'm trying to regain strength now. Hoping to find ways to improve the lower back so that I can straighten my knees, build upper body strength, aid in digestion (due to leaky gut + gallstones), and cure circulation problems. I made an "unlisted" YouTube video for you and emailed it to you, but I'm worried about other people somehow seeing it. Once I know you've seen it, I'll take it down! lol. Anyway, thank you so much for your amazing help and for everything that you do! 

  3. after my hip op years ago i thought that was my movement restricted…..but over time, following your videos i am more flexible than before my op….you are an inspiration to us all and i thank you for that…please keep up the great work you do in motivating us all

  4. your the best Adriene,
    A quick question: Do you associate Yoga with water? like do you or others do yoga practices in like 1 or 2 foot of water? as water can carry some body weight and i find after my swim training its really nice to do some basic yoga stretches in the small pool / wave pool in a shallow body of water and find it really awesome and different to doing it on a mat. 
    any thoughts? and do you swim? as it makes your body longer and slimmer (which you seem to have a good figure) 🙂

  5. The jump cut after your 'Hey yo' comment made me laugh out loud, Adriene. I can only imagine what was edited out ;-D.
    I'm beginning to love the cyclical nature of going back to the foundations to realign, then apply in longer practices, then back again, seeing the progress over time. Gratitude, love and continually renewed respect to you. Happy Yoga Month! 

  6. Adriene, will you please make a video for quick 10 min refreshing and rejuvenation between long work hours? Especially when you need to concentrate for really long and to keep up your performance through a day.

    Like I have my usmle step 1 exam in a few months, it's an 8 hourlong exam and I am trying to put together my own yoga schedule but if we can make this work for a general population that'll be great.

  7. I find you and your videos very fun to watch and I love the way you teach. You're a very giving teacher, and so down to earth. Thank you!

  8. ok so you mentioned your bad wrists. I have super bad wrists. like I cant do alot of positions because my wrists are so bad. is there anyway to me to strengthen them? I dontt have a mentor and i dont go to yoga class. i just kinda watch videos and practice what i see. Please help me! I am sooo over not being able to do things because of my wrists. yoga has helped my back immensely and i hope it can help my wrists as well!!!

    Thanks so much!

    p.s. you have my favorite yoga videos!! half of them are on my bookmarks bar lol

  9. I just saw you did a movie with Nicholas Cage!? How fucking awesome is this!? 😀 I didn't even know you are an actress until today and now I am so stunned! :3

  10. Hey Adriene, love your videos! I was wondering if you could be even more awesome and make a like 10 minute video for weight loss (not too intense) because I am so busy and most of the time I really don't have the energy to do a full sequence. Thank you! 

  11. Hey @Yoga With Adriene how long should one wait after breakfast or meals before doing this routine please? TIA! I have been stuggling to get my yoga session incorporated into my mornings. But I tend to wake up very hungry and end up eating cerreal/ oats before I can function. I would love some advice ! 😀

  12. Thanks adriene! Love your videos. Your the best. Btw, could you please make a video focussed on toning arms and upper back? 🙂 xx

  13. You are such a beauty! I've been "working" with you for over two years now. You're such a love and so helpful in keeping me fit and sane. (LOVE your stress yoga!) I have 3 chitlins and they run me ragged! Thank you! XOXOXO

  14. I have a question- how do you sit back on your feet like that, when the toes are tucked under? I tried it in one of your videos and it was one of the biggest nope moments of my life. I didn't know if I was doing it wrong, or if having very large calf and thigh muscles as I do would make the pose more difficult.

  15. Hey I love these videos they really help my at home practice. Can you post a video on relaxing or stretching out the shoulders? Owl pose and the like?

  16. Dear Adrienne, 
    I really love your videos, you give so many good advice!! your explanation are so detailed!! It is jsut great!!!
    I've been following your videos for almost a year now, and decided to take classes this year. Finally managed to find classes I like… But your advice are needed… Adrienne, you're awesome!!!
    you're giving so much, you're fantastic and wanted to thank you!!! 

  17. Hi Adriene, Thanks for this! It helped so much and I did it right before watching the headstand yoga and it really helped me get my foundation right. I walk a lot throughout the day for my job and my hamstrings are super tight and sore. Any advice or direction you can give me on that? Thanks!

  18. Is pushing away from a wall while standing or leaning a healthy way to strengthen the hands and wrists? I haven't been able to really pick up yoga because I can't seem to get more than 10 minutes into a routine before my hands tire out and I can't take any weight off of my wrists.
    The wall idea occurred to me just the other day and it seems to work the hands and forearms just the same as table top, but I was wondering if this could cause any problems.

  19. I started your 30 days yoga with foundation videos here together, very helpful. I sometimes laugh when you were joking, such a beautiful humorous woman you are 🙂 Love you!!=3 From South Korea 🙂

  20. when i do this with the spreading fingers and grounding into the earth thing i find my upper arm muscles start to engage .Is that suppose to happen

  21. I have a thick "double layer" Life Fitness mat, this pose works fine on it, but should I be using a "thinner" mat for standing positions. I seem to "wabble" more on the thicker mat if I'm standing… or is it I'm just not use to the poses?

  22. This was very helpful, Adriene! My elbows weren't softly bent, as you explained, and I wasn't feeling this posture in the right way. Thanks a lot!

  23. I just love your videos..Have started your 30 days yoga..I have eczema but was never motivated to do yoga but your videos have really encouraged me..could you also please share a video of yoga for eczema..Keep going!!!

  24. I just love your videos..Have started your 30 days yoga..I have eczema but was never motivated to do yoga but your videos have really encouraged me..could you also please share a video of yoga for eczema..Keep going!!!

  25. First time I've really understood what it means to push into the fleshy part between thumb and forefinger! It prevents rolling to the outer part of the wrist which causes pain. Oh lightbulb moment! Namaste ❤️

  26. Glad you mentioned about the wrists because I broke mine in 2016 and as a yoga apprentice, that wrist cannot handle too much weight on it

  27. My big issue is my left wrist… When I spread my hand out and set it down it feels particularly painful in the fleshy point between index finger and thumb, and into the wrist. I saw we can use our fists to give the hands a break, but can I try to hold up using my fingertips? or is that slowly getting flexibility into that wrist?

  28. I type for a living and there's something about this pose that hurts my wrists, especially my left one. They feel achy and slightly numb the next day. Is there a modification you can suggest? Thank you! I'm a beginning and am loving your videos.

  29. This is better than gold. Thank you Adriene. And I'm also very grateful for this Kula and for all the potential that's available to all of us 🥳

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *