Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Backbends for Everyone

Backbends are great for health and well-being. A healthy spine will translate to a healthy life. An easy backbend to start with is Upward Facing Dog or Urdhva Mukha Svanasana in Sanskrit. Almost everyone can do the pose and if Upward Facing Dog is too much Cobra pose is a great variation but the legs are not lifted off of the mat.

Some of the benefits of doing Upward Facing Dog are increased strength in the arms, wrists, abdomen and legs. The pose also helps to increase the flexibility of the spine and flexibility is vital for over all health and well-being. Normally Upward Facing Dog is done as part of the Sun Salutation sequence that will open most vinyasa flow classes but the pose can be done as a stretch and strength building portion of any workout program. 

When doing Upward Facing Dog there are some fundamentals that should be practiced. Always keep the legs engaged and off of the floor. Keep the shoulders over the wrist and the wrist shoulder distance apart. Do not hunch the shoulders up around the ears, keep them relaxed but engaged in the pose. Always be mindful of the wrist in the pose. Upward Facing Dog will heal wrist injuries but if not done properly could aggravate or cause more harm. Now go and do some Upward Facing Dogging.