full moon flow : adho mukha svanasana + urdhva mukha svanasana

ADHO MUKHA SVANASANA :: DOWNWARD FACING DOG

 

BENEFITS:

Elongates and releases tension from your spine

Stretches your hamstrings, calves, arches, and hands

Strengthens your arms, shoulders, and back

Improves mobility of your digestive system

Relieves back pain, headaches, insomnia and fatique

Helps relieve the symptoms of menopause

Downward-Facing Dog is a mild inversion that calms the nervous system and helps relieve stress

 

curl the toes under, lift the hips nice and high, press the torso back toward the thighs to create a V like shape. If the hamstrings are tight (like mine), it's ok that the heels don't quite touch the ground. it can feel real good to bend the knees slightly, so that you can press the heart in even deeper and lift the hips up even higher. and then from there, work toward pressing the heels down and straightening the legs. receive 10-20 long, deep breaths here and notice how this posture stretches and strengthens. with the head below the heart, down dog balances us by both energizing and calming.

 

Careful! {Know your edge}

If you have wrist problems like carpal tunnel syndrome or arthritis

High blood pressure

Eye or inner ear infection

Avoid this pose in late-term pregnancy

 

Also, Try…

Easing pressure on your wrists by placing a wedge under your palms or performing the pose on your elbows.

Elevating your hands on blocks or on the seat of a chair to release and open your shoulders.

URDHVA MUKHA SVANASANA :: UPWARD FACING DOG

 

BENEFITS


Expands your chest and shoulders.

Strengthens the muscles that control your shoulder blades.

Stretches your hip flexors and core musculature.

Strengthens your low back musculature.

Relieves some forms of low back pain.

Therapeutic for asthma sufferers as it opens your accessory muscles of breathing.

 

roll over onto the tops of the toes, press the pelvis and thighs toward the earth. keep the arms strong and engaged. 
lift the head back to face the chin to the sky. open the chest, draw the shoulders back and down away from the ears. breathe deep into the heart space. open yourself up to receive love as you send out love into the universe. 


*just as with cat/cow, you can find a flow with your breath, back and forth from down dog to up dog. feels so yummy.

 

 

Careful! {Know your edge}

If you have Carpal Tunnel Syndrome or tendonitis of the wrist

Low Back pain aggravated by extension

If you are pregnancy

 

Also, Try…

To avoid rolling in the tops of your arms bones or shrugging, both of which can lead to impingement of the rotator cuff muscles in the shoulder. Instead, squeeze your elbows close to your side, rolling the shoulders onto your back body so that you are broad across the collarbone and send the shoulder blades down the back, increasing the expansion of your chest and the space for the neck. You should not feel any pinching sensations in your shoulders.

If you are experiencing wrist pain, ensure a broad and open connection with the shoulders (as above). Distribute the weight evenly into your hands and all five fingers, avoiding compression at the wrist itself. The wrists should be stacked under or slightly in front of your shoulders.

If you feel low back pain, don't focus on the action of extension or back bending, think more about length through your spine, reaching out through the top of your head to grow longer. Draw your low belly in to support the low back. Connect all 10 toenails to the earth, pressing your feet into the floor. You can also use a block between your thighs to squeeze and activate the adductor muscles of the groin, often relieving pressure in the low back. Avoid gripping through the buttocks, but allow a gentle contraction.

If you have neck pain, keep the head level and look straight forward.