Upward-Facing Dog

Upward-Facing Dog better known as Up-Dog, is a gentle back bend. It’s a great pose for opening your chest, throat, shoulders, and the front of your thighs:
How To Preform 

• Lie on your stomach with the top of your feet on the floor.
• Place your hands beside your rib cage with fingers spread wide, finger tips below the line of the chest.
• Press into your hands, spread your fingers and feel the mat beneath your palms.
• Hug your elbows to your side, roll the shoulders back and away from your ears; think about squeezing a pen in between your shoulder blades, and then reach out through the top of your head.
• Draw your lower belly in towards the spine, and create a slight inward rotation of the thighs. Press the toenails into the mat.
• On an inhale, feel the connections between your palms and the mat. Slide your body along the earth.
• Lift your torso and hips off the mat and shine your heart, leaving only the top of your feet and your palms in contact with the earth.
• Imagine rising up to the sun and visualise the back bend coming from your heart centre.
• Send the sternum forward, whilst keep drawing the lower belly in.

Benefits

• Builds bone density, rejuvenates and energises your body, eliminates stiffness and back pain and boosts circulation.

Contraindications

• Carpal tunnel syndrome.
• Late term pregnancy.
• High blood pressure or headache.

Modifications

• Activate your fingertips rather than putting all your weight into your palms.
• Loop and secure a strap around your arms just above your elbows.
• Imagine that the strap is tightening inward, pressing the outer arms in against the bones.
• Push the inner shoulder blades outward against this resistance.

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