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Training with Charlotte | Lean and defined arms

Training with Charlotte | Lean and defined arms

Training with Charlotte | Lean and defined arms

Yoga can change your body shape by working your muscles in unique and challenging ways. Our favourite yoga guru, Charlotte Dodson shares a sequence of poses to help you become leaner this summer…say goodbye to those 'jelly' arms and hello to strong, lean and beautifully sculpted upper arms!

By Charlotte Dodson |
Photography |

There are different variations within each particular pose - please honor yourself, and approach each movement at your own level and pace. There's always plenty of time to build yourself up, and move to the next level when you're truly ready.

Always remember to breathe properly (and mindfully) throughout your practice - that way, you'll give yourself the boost of long-lasting energy you need. During your practice, keep your belly active, chin tucked into your throat and ribs drawn into your spine. Keep your breath flowing through both nostrils (lips closed) to create an inner natural heat.

With this next sequence we'll be focusing on the upper body, but remember that your lower body and belly will be active, too. Lets begin.


Sun salutations are a great way to warm your body up, build strength and increase stamina. It'll give you greater mental focus and body awareness as you move mindfully with each and every breath. Start at the top of your mat with your feet together, legs active, belly strong and chin tucked into your throat. This is your base position, 'tadasana'.

Inhale - raise your arms out to the side and up into prayer above your head, take your gaze to your thumbs and along your nose (head behind your arms).
Exhale - swan dive down to your feet, bend your knees if your lower back is tender, hands to the floor by your feet
Inhale - to lengthen and take your gaze forward, palms flat if possible.
Exhale - Step or jump back one leg distant and rock forward into a 'high plank' (option to stay onto knees).

Ensure your shoulders are in-line with your wrists, hips are lifting slightly (so you don't dip into your lower back), keeping your legs and core active. Keep your chin tucked into your throat, protecting the back of your neck and work your heels to the back of your mat. Lift up slightly into your shoulder blades and breathe deeply for 5-10 breaths.

To release rock back into 'downward facing dog' or drop to your knees into child pose for a few breaths before stepping or jumping to the top of your mat and repeating 2-5 more times.


From your high plank, drop gently to your knees. On your exhale, lower your chest in between your hands, towards the floor, looking forward. Keep your sit bones lifting up to the sky. On your inhale, allow the breath to draw you back up. Keep your elbows in by your sides and try not to collapse your chest. Keep your shoulders rolling back and belly active. You can practice in stages, lower half way down and as your strength builds, in time your chest can meet the floor.


Inversions allow you to turn upside down, viewing the world from another perspective! You need to be brave, strong and go for it, with steadiness and softness.

This headstand variation requires a very strong upper body to hold your whole body weight. Start on your knees, and bring your finger tips across to each elbow. Keep your elbows distant and interlock your hands tightly. Roll your shoulders away from your ears, and press your fist down and away from your body. Either stay here, or alternatively, lift up into 'downward facing dog'. Hips high and drop your head down (not touching the floor). Activate your legs (keep your knees bent if your lower back if tender), belly and arms. Hold and breathe deeply for 5 breaths (2 minutes).

To release, lightly bring your legs back down into downward facing dog. Shake your head gently from side to side to release your neck.

Charlotte wears AMELIA tights in Dahlia and HARRIET crop in Dahlia