DAY 20. (read to the end for your challenge today)
URDHVA MUKHA SVANASANA (up-facing dog)
This invigorating posture stimulates the nervous system. It requires strong wrists and spinal flexibility – as with down-facing dog, these things come rapidly with regular practice. Up-facing dog is a powerful backbend – if it causes discomfort in your lower back, concentrate on pulling up your abdominal muscles to give maximum support to your spine. Alternatively, practice the easier modification until you have more flexibility. You can flow down-facing dog and up-facing dog together in a short sequence.
1. From down-facing dog, lower your body to a flat back position with your shoulders directly above your wrists. You may need to walk your hands forward a little. Strengthen the front of your body and broaden your back. Push back into your heels. (This looks almost like a plank).
2. On an in-breath, move your whole body forward and upward. Roll forward onto the top of your toes. Raise the centre of your chest skyward and look up. Strongly lift your thigh muscles. Keep your neck long and don’t let your shoulders collapse. Breathe.
*The variation described here is an easier alternative to up-facing dog. Lie face down bringing your hands to the floor by your waist. On an in-breath, push down through your hands to lift your chin, chest, trunk and hips off the ground. Your feet, shins and knees stay on the ground. Lift your chest as much as possible. Look straight ahead. If this is difficult, try practicing cobra until you develop greater strength (we will be learning the cobra in a few days)
Day 20 challenge:
Another amazing posture today! Love up-facing dog. Practice this posture a few times and then combine your down-facing dog and up-facing dog into a short sequence. How different does one posture feel from the other? Share with us in the comment box below.
All participants’ names will be entered in our 30 days of yoga with hipS-sister draw Oct. 1st.