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4/6/10

Fitness Day 16 ~ Gaining Strength

Downward Dog!

Go down on all fours, on your Yoga mat. Place your hands a little in of your shoulders and your knees right below your hips. Spread out your palms; your index fingers should be slightly turned out or parallel to each other. Now, turn your toes under.
With an exhalation, raise your knees up from your mat. Initially, you may keep them slightly bent, your heels raised up from the floor. Press your tailbone slightly toward your pubis and stretched away from your pelvis. Now, shove your sit bones up towards the ceiling, and then draw your inner legs up into your groins, from your inner ankles.
Exhale and push back the top of your thighs, then push your heels down into your mat. Without locking your knees, straighten them out, firm your outer thighs and roll your upper thighs slightly inward. Contract the front of your pelvis.
Squeeze your outer arms and press the bases of your palms firmly into the floor. Next, raise your inner arms from your wrists to the apex of your shoulders. Widen your shoulder blades and then draw them up toward your tailbone.


At all times, your head should be between your upper arms without hanging.
Hold the pose for anywhere between 1 – 3 minutes.
To exit the pose, with an exhalation, bend your knees and, gently, drop them to the mat, and rest in (Balasana) Child’s Pose for a while.



Benefits
It elongates and release tension from your spine
Stretches the calves, hands, arches and hamstrings
Strengthens your shoulders, arms and back
Improves mobility of the digestive system
A mild inversion can calm your nervous system and helps in relieving stress
Relieves headaches, fatigue, back pain and certain level of insomnia
It also helps in relieving the symptoms for menopause


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"When I dare to be powerful, to use my strength in the service of my vision,

then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid."

A. Lorde

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