Whenever I’m teaching or practising, there is an unwritten rule that you should always honour your body every time you are on the mat. There are far too many ways that ignorance and ego will seep into your practice leaving you vulnerable and susceptible to injury. Due to the repetitive nature of yoga, you must have complete involvement in every pose from the simplest of gestures to the kray kray of all poses. There is one pose in particular that I hold direct emphasis on during a practice:
Upward Facing dog – Urdhva Mukha Svanasana (Sanskrit terminology)
Watching this pose done incorrectly and without proper education (not to mention lack of compassion) may result in discomfort and possible injury. In my practice I ensure that my entire body is active as I have a sacralised L5/S1 vertebrae (there is no disk between the two bones ). I have no issues with poses because I have learnt the proper training and guidance so my core is strong enough to endure many movements that I can progress through. Having this knowledge has enhanced and rewarded my practice and overall quality of life
Now back to Upward facing dog pose.
Common mistakes are disengaging core muscles, resting on floor with hips and shrugging shoulders. This method jams the spine in the lumbar region and forces the wrists and lower back to support the load. Ouch.
Try lifting the hips and thighs of the floor and engaging core muscles while the wrists are stacked directly beneath the elbows and shoulders, This will take load off your back and shoulder joints.
By pressing into the mat with the hands, you will experience a lift of the chest that will allow for the trapezius and shoulder muscles to relax.
Feel like your opening up to stretch that proud chest and drawing the navel up towards spine
After all that, don’t forget to breath.
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Next posture blog post : Chaturanga Danadasana -High to low plank