featured, Postures, Uncategorized, Well-being, Yoga, Yoga Postures

Extended Puppy: Animal Yoga Pose Series

UTTANA SHISHOSANA

Level 2: Intermediate

Benefits:

  • Lengthens and improves flexibility of the spine.
  • Stretches the back, arm, and shoulder muscles, relieving tension.
  • Heart-opening element relieves tension in the sternum.
  • Soothing for the nervous system, calms the mind.

Contraindications/Cautions (consult your physician):

  • Spinal, back, or shoulder injuries.
  • Knee injuries.
  • Pregnancy- fine but widen the knees, and don’t go for the back-bending element or hold for too long.
Neutral spine in all fours
Begin by finding a neutral spine from an all fours position

Start from all fours:

1). Inhale. Keeping the hips above the knees, slowly walk the hands forward and extend the arms.

2). Melt the chest down towards the ground, and lower the forehead to the ground (if possible) as you exhale.

Puppy posture
Melt the chest down towards the ground and breathe. Stay on the forehead or turn your cheek depending on what is comfortable

3). Stay for a few rounds of breath, gently grounding down into the mat through the hands, knees and feet.

4). Inhale and engage the core by drawing the navel gently up to the spine, slowly walk the hands back to an all fours position.

5). Exhale and release the posture.

NOTES:

Puppy posture
Using a block can help when you first start to get the opening of the chest/shoulders without any discomfort in the back
  • You can use a blanket or rolled yoga mat under the knees if required.
  • Some find it more comfortable to place one cheek to the floor instead of the forehead (see title image), just make sure you change sides halfway through.
  • If the you don’t reach the floor, bring the floor to you by placing a block under the forehead. You shouldn’t feel any pain so only lower the chest as far as is comfortable.
  • Keep the arms straight and active in the posture if you can, but you can also modify by allowing the elbows to soften to the ground if required.

 

 

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