|Sanskrit name: Adho Mukha Śvānāsana |
– Crown chakra: Sahasrara; five elements
– Navel chakra: Manipura; the fire element
– Root chakra: Muladhara; the earth element
HOW TO PERFORM IT. Step by step guide:
– Come into Balasana and stretch arms forward.
– Spread the fingers wide, grasping the mat and feel the knuckles firmly planted.
– Come up on to hands and knees.
– Check the position of the hands: The middle finger is in line with the middle of your wrist, pointing forward.
– Arms: shoulder-width apart. Shoulder over the elbow.
– Double-check that your knees and feet are hip-width apart.
– Inhale tuck toes under.
– Exhale as you lift the buttocks toward the sky.
– Stay with your knees bent if you are a beginner or even for the first rounds of breaths.
– Gradually start to straighten the legs. Create space at every exhalation and slowly ease heels towards the floor.
– Keep heels slightly out and toes in so you give a hint of internal rotation to your femur and leg.
– Do not strain your arms, especially if tend to hyperextend. Relax and micro-bend your elbow.
– Inside creases of the elbow are facing each other.
– Make sure your hands are still firmly planted on the mat.
– Open the scapulas externally, externally rotate your shoulder away from your ears.
– Broader shoulder and chest. Bring your head and shoulder toward the knees.
– Head and neck relaxed in between your arms, by looking at your navel.
– Lengthening your spine as you suck the belly in, you organically should arise your buttocks toward the sky even higher.
– Engage your entire legs as you push your buttocks further up.
Hips reaching up.
– Lower and pressing down through heels toward the earth as you relax in the pose, lengthening the hamstring.
TO RELEASE: bend knees to the floor, buttocks are resting on heels. Come back to extended child pose, utthita balasana.
How to perform it if you are a beginner:
– The same cue as before, but instead of having your leg straight, you should slightly bend your knees and so you naturally raising your heels. Your tights are almost touching the abdomen.
– Keep your buttock nice and high, don’t drop it down because your knees are bent.
Alignments and props for a better outcome:
– Bending the elbows slightly gives your scapulas a natural external rotation.
– You can create an imaginary long line force from hands to sitting bones by bending the knees for as much as it takes to reach that alignment.
– Use blocks under the knuckles of hands with the fingers wrapped around the front of the block if you had any wrist injuries.
– Engage the legs and quadriceps by internal rotate slightly the femur. You can be helped by placing a block in between your legs.
– The navel is drawn in by slightly active the Mula Bandha.
– Position on hands and feet.
– Neck tension due to the wrong retraction on scapulas.
– Bent or hyperextension of the elbows
– Rounded spine
– Gaze in between the hands
– Hands not firmly planted on the mat
– Knees hyperextended
– It strengthens the nerves and muscles, especially the hamstring and the back.
– It’s very good for circulation, especially in the upper trunk.
– Bones grow longer
– Stretches back, shoulders, hamstrings, calves, arches of the feet, and hands.
– Strengthens arms and legs.
– Strengthens and tones the heart
– Improve digestion
– Lengthens and release tension in the spine
– Release tension in neck and shoulders
Contraindications and Cautions:
– Carpal tunnel syndrome
– Wrist injury
– Shoulders injuries
– Late pregnancy
– It’s considered as an inverted pose so it should be avoided in the menstrual period. Do child pose instead.
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