93/100 ~ Upward Facing Dog (Urdhva Mukha Svanasana) – Build some strength with a pose that’s commonly incorporated in Sun Salutations flow practice (day 21) as a transition pose. This pose will build some yoga heat in the body, and it’s sure to challenge even seasoned yogis when held long enough.
Benefits: Upward facing dog strengthens the spine, upper back, shoulders, arms, wrists and legs. Considered a back bend, this pose opens the heart and stretches the chest and front of the torso. It also builds stamina and heat in the body, boosting energy and relieving fatigue. This pose balances the liver and gallbladder meridian – releasing anger and frustration, and inviting a sense of peace and calm as a result.
How to: Come to the floor and create cobra pose (day 69). Press into the tops of the feet as you push the floor away with your hands, lifting the fronts of the legs off of the mat. Keep a slight bend in the elbows here, using arm strength rather than stacking bone-on-bone in the elbow joints. Draw the shoulder blades together on the back and lift your heart. Move the tops of the shoulders away from the ears, and look straight ahead. Hold this pose for a few breath cycles, then tuck the toes and lift the hips to come into downward facing dog (day 37) as a transition pose.
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