Urdhva-Mukha-Svanasana

Upward-Facing Dog, Urdhva Mukha Svanasana

How-To:
1. Lie prone on the floor. Stretch your legs back, with the tops of your feet on the floor. Bend your elbows and spread your palms on the floor beside your waist so that your forearms are relatively perpendicular to the floor.

2. Inhale and press your inner hands firmly into the floor and slightly back, as if you were trying to push yourself forward along the floor. Then straighten your arms and simultaneously lift your torso up and your legs a few inches off the floor on an inhalation. Keep the thighs firm and slightly turned inward, the arms firm and turned out so the elbow creases face forward.

3. Press the tailbone toward the pubis and lift the pubis toward the navel. Narrow the hip points. Firm but don’t harden the buttocks.

4. Firm the shoulder blades against the back and puff the side ribs forward. Lift through the top of the sternum but avoid pushing the front ribs forward, which only hardens the lower back. Look straight ahead or tip the head back slightly, but take care not to compress the back of the neck and harden the throat.

5. Urdhva Mukha Svanasana is another pose that you could flow into after Chatturanga Dandasana. You can also practice this pose individually, holding it anywhere from 15 to 30 seconds, breathing easily. Release back to the floor or lift into Adho Mukha Svanasana with an exhalation. 

Benefits:
This pose will strengthen your spine, arms & wrists, and give your chest, lungs, shoulders & abdomen a good stretch. It is said to relieve mild depression, fatigue, & sciatica and also be helpful for those who suffer from asthma. 

(see previous “healing through yoga” entries here!) 

7

Summer is almost over, in less than 2 weeks. I decided that I would enjoy one of the final nights of summer with a little yoga stretching.

Sorry for the blurriness, I wanted a brighter photo in low light without using the flash, so I had an exposure time of 2.5 seconds on my camera. It’s hard to stay perfectly still with a shutter speed that slow. 

Three days and a million Christmas cookies later I’m back in NYC to teach my weekend classes. Join me at the times and studios listed below to burn off holiday stress and sugar and realign for the upcoming new year. See you soon!
Sangha Yoga Shala 
Sat 9:45am - Vinyasa
Sat 11am - Core Vinyasa
Sun 5pm - Vinyasa
Sun 6:30pm - Restorative
Karen Lord Pilates Movement 
Sun 11am - Vinyasa