DOLPHIN POSE VARI­A­TION AT A WALL

Yoga Journal - - YOGAPEDIA -

BEN­E­FITS Opens and en­gages your shoul­ders, strength­ens your up­per back, stretches your ham­strings, im­proves di­ges­tion, calms your mind

IN­STRUC­TION Sit on the floor with your back against a wall and your legs out in front of you. Place a block on the floor next to each an­kle (the blocks are just place­hold­ers) to help you gauge the dis­tance you’ll need for the pose. Come to your hands and knees with your heels on the wall and toes on the floor. Come down to your fore­arms with your el­bows in the same line as the blocks—no wider than your shoul­ders. To make sure your el­bows are the cor­rect dis­tance apart, clasp each of your hands on the op­po­site el­bow. Bring your fore­arms for­ward again. This time, clasp your hands to­gether to cre­ate a tri­an­gle shape with your arms. At the same time, iso­met­ri­cally (us­ing a mus­cu­lar ac­tion with­out ac­tual move­ment) squeeze your el­bows to­ward one an­other. On an ex­ha­la­tion, lift your knees, hips, and thighs. Straighten your legs into a fore­arm vari­a­tion of Adho Mukha Svanasana (Down­ward-Fac­ing Dog Pose). It will feel short, and that is OK: You are on the right track. On an in­hala­tion, start to walk your feet up the wall un­til they reach hip height. Root your fore­arms into the floor and move the tops of your shoul­ders over your el­bows. Keep your shoul­ders where they are as you vig­or­ously press your heart to­ward the wall and move your tail­bone to­ward the ceil­ing, which will pull your belly in and up and pre­vent your rib cage from col­laps­ing. Lengthen your spine and re­sist the urge to round your lower back. Let your head be heavy and hang down, keep­ing it off the floor and off your hands. Hold for up to 10 breaths. On your last ex­ha­la­tion, step one foot down at a time, and rest for a few breaths in Child’s Pose to avoid get­ting dizzy.

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