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Adho Mukhasvanasana And Vrksasana Yoga


Adho Mukhasvanasana (Downward Facing Dog)

Probably the most popular pose in yoga. It is often the first pose taught in class and the one that students remember to practise on their own. It stretches all the muscles in the back of the calves and thighs, shoulders, belly and back. This helps to strengthen the arms, relieves neck tension and offers some of the benefits of inverted poses, including stimulation of abdominal organs. Down Dog can also be used as a warm-up for other sports activities.

Posture

Kneel down with knees apart and hands under shoulders. Fingers should point straight ahead, especially the middle ones. Keep palms in contact with the floor. On exhale, slowly lift pelvis to form an inverted V with your body. Keep arms and legs straight. The ears are in line with the arms, looking through the legs.

Intermediate Modification

Keep legs slightly bent with knees relaxed as you form the inverted V.

Basic Modification

Kneel on your toes with arms stretched out in front.

What Not To Do?

Don't hunch up your back with legs bent or unevenly positioned.

Vrksasana (Tree Pose)

This pose strengthens thighs, calves, ankles and spine. It stretches the groin and inner thighs, chest and shoulders and improves your sense of balance. It also helps relieve sciatica and reduces flat feet.

Posture

Standing with your feet together, bend the right knee, shifting all the weight onto the left leg. Bend the right knee out to the right and place the entire right foot against the inner left thigh. When you are balanced here, slowly bring the palms together, in a prayer position in front of the heart. The shoulders are down and back and the chest is pressing forward. Breathe and hold for 4-8 breaths. To release, slowly exhale the arms down and then release the legs.

Intermediate Modification

If you have trouble balancing in this posture, bring foot to ankle, resting toes on the floor for support.

Basic Modification

Stand next to a wall with one hand resting on the wall for balance.

What Not To Do?

Don't tilt your body to one side and balance weight on side of foot.

Note: Be mindful of your limits while practicing and prevent injuries.

 

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