Using variations of Adho Mukha Svanasana to develop your very own series.

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Often many of my students find that doing a lot of Downward Confronting Dog can place too much unnecessary pressure on their wrists, particularly if their arms and shoulders aren’t sturdy enough to hold the body properly for longer time periods.

This week I’ve actually included a few variations of Adho Mukha Svanasana in my classes to strengthen the arms and shoulders and to get used to relocating into and out of the position. We’re utilizing these variations as we shift through the traditional Surya Namaskara, (Salute to the Sun), and just holding each variation for 3 rounds of breathing. You might also use it as a stand alone practice sprinkling with conterpostures like Balasana – Kid Pose or Mandukasana – The Frog if you aren’t wanting a too dynamic practice.

Option 1) From Adho Mukha Svanasana, bring the left foot to the center line and extend the right upper hand, keeping the hips parallel as well as, pressing through the ball of the foot, (so not bending completely or pointing). Hold for 3 rounds of breathing then:

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

b) modification sides and utilize a counter position.

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

Option 3) From Adho Mukha Svanasana, bring your right leg up, flex the knee and remove the thigh as high as possible, (try to get the right knee above the right hip), take the lesser 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. Full a or b.

Option 4) The body need to be warmer now and more open, which will enable a twist. From Adho Mukha Svanasana, take your left hand towards your right ankle or calf. Launch and repeat on the contrary side of the body.

Complete Suyra Namaskara or launch into a counter position.