How to Do the Yoga-with-Weights Eye of the Needle Exercise - dummies

How to Do the Yoga-with-Weights Eye of the Needle Exercise

By Sherri Baptiste, Megan Scott

The Eye of the Needle is a squeeze-and-soak exercise, which means it massages your organs. This yoga-with-weights exercise also loosens your spine, opens up your chest and shoulders, and strengthens and conditions your whole upper torso and shoulder-rotation mechanism.

Don’t hold your breath in this exercise (be conscious of breathing in and out). Keep your hips over your knees at all times, and remember that your supporting arm should be active the entire time as you look through the Eye of the Needle; don’t let this arm go limp.

Grab one hand weight, and make sure your ankle weights are strapped on. When you’re ready, follow these steps:

  1. Start on all fours with your hips directly over your knees and your hands on the floor directly below your shoulders; hold a weight in your right hand.

    In this position, you should draw your belly below your navel in and up for abdominal stability. Your toes should be pointing straight back.

  2. Inhaling to a count of four, press your left palm down as you slowly raise your right arm up (along with the weight), keeping it straight, and roll your right shoulder back.

    This is the starting position. Rotate your shoulder and open your chest to the right side as you look toward the ceiling.

  3. Exhaling to a count of four, slowly bring your right hand under and past your body as you stretch out your back and roll onto the backside of your right shoulder.

    Your head and the weight should move onto the floor. Feel your back and shoulder stretching as you move the weight onto the floor.

    Watch the weight with your eyes as you roll down. This way, your head flows with the movement of your shoulder and arm. Tuck your chin in slightly to loosen your neck.

    If your shoulders are too tight to roll all the way down, you may want to rest your head on a rolled-up blanket or towel so your neck isn’t straining and then gently rotate as far as you can. You can also move your supporting hand forward and out from your body to make the needle loop bigger.

  4. Inhaling to a count of four, return to the starting position.

    Pull the weight back through the loop in rhythm with your breathing.

Do this exercise six to eight times with each arm, pause to rest, and then do the exercise six to eight more times with each arm.