5 years ago10,000+ Views
"The featured pose this week is a version of the classic Downward-Facing Dog pose that is a bit easier to do than the full pose and does not require a clean floor or a prop other than a wall. It’s a fantastic allover stretch, opening your shoulders and stretching your arms, back, hips and legs (in the straight leg version). It also provides a good forward bend of your pelvis over your thighbones without bending in your lower back. It’s accessible to almost everyone, so it’s perfect for students who are new to yoga or who are recovering from an injury. Half Dog Pose at the Wall is an excellent way to begin a yoga practice. And it’s also perfect as a single-pose practice when you need a break at work or while traveling. If you don’t have wall available, you can do the pose with your hands resting on a desktop or counter, or on the seat of a chair. Baxter prescribes this pose for: low back pain releasing muscle tension due to stress an alternative to full Downward-Facing Dog for those with hand or wrist problems an alternative to full Downward-Facing Dog for those with cardiovascular or neurologic conditions, such as hypertension or vertigo an alternative to full Downward-Facing Dog for those with limited shoulder mobility due either to stiffness or injury an antidote stretch for working at a desk, driving, or traveling Instructions. Stand facing a wall, about one foot away. Place your hands on the wall so they are at either at shoulder height for less flexible people (lessening the impact and strain on the hamstrings, lower back and shoulders) or anywhere below shoulder height down to elbow height for more flexible people (which will result in a 90 degree angle at the hip joint). Press your hands firmly into the wall, mentally gluing them on place. Bend your knees a bit and slowly walk your feet away from the wall. Keeping your hips positioned over your feet, gradually walk out until your arms are straight and form a long line with your torso and belly. Push your arms strongly towards the wall, while creating an upward lift from your knees to your hips. You can gradually straighten your knees as long as it doesn't cause pain in your lower back. Stay in the pose for 14-16 breaths, and then walk back toward wall to come up and out. Cautions: Although this pose is good for most students, those with significant rotator cuff issues may have to work with a local teacher to find a good modification that does not aggravate their condition. If bending your wrists to 90 degrees is a problem, you can do the pose with just your fingertips on the wall. Newer students should start out with about six breaths in the pose and work their way up to one to two minutes."