Moun­tain Pose

Yoga Journal - - ANATOMY -

Us­ing a dowel for Moun­tain Pose (pic­tured on page 79) can re­lieve pres­sure in your lum­bar spine through ax­ial ex­ten­sion. If you tend to slouch or have hy­per­kypho­sis (ex­ag­ger­ated round­ing of your up­per back), it will also help you to lift and open your chest as you pull on it.

Stand in Moun­tain Pose with your feet hip-width apart. Place the dowel be­tween your feet so that it’s near the mid­dle of your feet but slightly closer to the balls of your feet than your heels. Reach up to clasp the dowel, one hand over the other, so that your hands are roughly in front of your fore­head for the best lever­age. Re­lax your shoul­ders and neck. Pull down on the dowel to lengthen your spine. Imag­ine that you’re mov­ing your back ribs and the back of your pelvis away from each other to pre­vent over­ar­ch­ing your lower back. The ac­tion of your arms helps to draw the bot­tom of each of your shoul­der blades down with­out pinch­ing and moves your mid-tho­racic spine and ribs in. Again, avoid lift­ing your shoul­ders. Hold for 5 breaths, pause, switch your hands, and then hold for an­other 5 breaths.

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