Upward Facing Dog- Urdvha Mukha Svanasana
As yogis we are often given a chance to start over throughout the year. Some of us embrace a different cultural calendar new year while others use the zodiac to start fresh. Anyway you dice it giving yourself a time to start something new or end something no longer serving you is a great way to treat your self… hopefully in a loving compassionate way. That’s why I chose upward facing dog. It’s a pose we practice over and over again in vinyasa and as a teacher I want you to be safe so if you are a beginner to the practice of yoga please don’t practice this yet. It’s not worth it. Give yourself some time in cobra or bhujangasana to build strength in not only your back body but arms and wrists as well. When you are ready you will know. Remember there is no achieving an optimal pose in yoga. It’s a practice. Be where you are. Now, for those of you working on or living in Urdhva Mukha Svanasana let’s look a little deeper. Moving from chaturanga roll your chest forward and up with your legs lifted off the ground the entire time if possible. Your toes just flip over so you are resting on the top of your feet. With your legs together actively roll your shoulders down and back away from your ears building strength in your arms and wrist. The inhale brings in the new. Taking in something that was never there before. Is this serving you? Does it make your heart beat a little faster? Is it exhilarating? Is that what you are looking for? Or does it cause a little pain in your lower back or wrists? Do you find yourself trying to catch up on your breath, if not hold it? Should you have taken a child’s pose? Is it so old hat you haven’t even looked into it recently? These questions aren’t meant to judge, not at all. They are there to allow your practice to deepen by simply understanding yourself a little more, in every given moment. The next time you are in class be mindful of this heart opening pose see it’s place within your practice. The answer might change throughout the class and that’s fine. The point is to look at it with a new set of eyes. A fresh outlook on the asana will hopefully bring a fresh outlook on the day and maybe even the year. Have a blessed New Year.