Wednesday, February 1, 2012

February Pose of the Month: For the Love of Dog

Urdhva Muhka Svanasana  - Upward Facing Dog
By Rebecca Merritt

February always reminds us to open our hearts – to give and receive more love. In yoga, we open our hearts in many ways but one of the most common physically, is through backbending. Urdhva Muhka Svanasana helps build the groundwork for our backbend practice. It helps us deepen and stregthen, encouraging us to expand our heart space all the more. This month take a moment to really spend some time in this pose we so often flow right through. Enjoy a few breaths here and let the pose be an expression of your joyous, open heart.  

·         Energizing to the body
·         Strengthens the spine, arms, wrists and shoulders
·         Stretches chest and lungs, shoulders, and abdomen
·         Stimulates the abdominal organs
·         Helps relieve mild depression and fatigue
·         Helps relieve sciatica
·         Good for those with asthma because of the effect on the lungs
·         Increases the flexibility of the spine giving a fresh blood supply
·         Heart opener

How To:
1. Come to lie face down on the floor. Bend the elbows and draw the arms on by your sides, planting the hands underneath your shoulders.

2. Inhale and ground into the palms, while drawing the heart forward and straighten the arms as you lift the torso and legs off the floor.

3. Keep the legs strong, internally rotating the thighs towards one another as you balance on the tops of the feet.

4. Roll the shoulder blades against the back. Keep the gaze forward or tip the head back slightly.

5. Hold for a few full breaths and then slowly release back down or lift from the hips to Downward Facing Dog.

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