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Using variations of Adho Mukha Svanasana to create your own sequence.

August 28, 2012

Using variations of Adho Mukha Svanasana to create your own sequence.

Often many of my students find that doing too many Downward Facing Dog can place too much unnecessary strain on their wrists, especially if their arms and shoulders are not strong enough to hold the body correctly for longer periods of time.

This week I have included a few variations of Adho Mukha Svanasana in my classes to strengthen the arms and shoulders and to get used to moving into and out of the posture. We are using these variations as we transition through the classic Surya Namaskara, (Salute to the Sun), and only holding each version for 3 rounds of breathing. You could also use it as a stand alone practice interspersing with conterpostures like Balasana – Child Pose or Mandukasana – The Frog if you are not wanting a too dynamic practice.

Option 1) From Adho Mukha Svanasana, bring the left foot to the centre line and extend the right leg up, keeping the hips parallel and even, pressing through the ball of the foot, (so not flexing fully or pointing). Hold for 3 rounds of breathing and then:

a) complete your sequence with the right leg and then change to work on the left, or

b) change sides and use a counter pose.

Option 2) From Adho Mukha Svanasana, bring your right leg up again, bend the knee and lift the thigh this time, getting more of an extension through the quadricep. Complete the series with option a or b.

Option 3) From Adho Mukha Svanasana, bring your right leg up, bend the knee and lift the thigh as high as possible, (try to get the right knee above the right hip), take the lower leg across the body to the left side and look under your right armpit to feel the stretch through the inner side of the body. Complete a or b.

Option 4) The body should be warmer now and more open, which will allow for a twist. From Adho Mukha Svanasana, take your left hand towards your right ankle or calf. Release and repeat on the opposite side of the body.

Complete Suyra Namaskara or release into a counter posture.

 

 

 

 

 

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Nina Saacks is the founder of Yoga Awakening Africa and has been teaching integral hatha yoga, (Sivananda yoga) since 2003 in Cape Town. She loves spending time in her yoga studio with her students, up the mountain with her hiking buddies, around a dinner table with her friends, and when she can spending time in bed reading a good book with Kat and some Lindt chocolates. She believes that health equals balance in life, enjoying what you do and doing what you enjoy, and to never take yourself too seriously! nina@yogaaa.co.za | www.saacks.com

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