Last week, we explored Chaturanga Dandasana. So, naturally we are flowing into Upward Facing Dog, the asana that often follows Chaturanga in a Vinyasa flow practice. Upward Facing Dog distributes energy throughout the body, from the center (core) to the heart, chest, head, glutes, legs and feet. This is an asana in its own right. Take a moment to really feel this posture in your body and notice how the uplifting sensation translates into your mind.
Upward Facing Dog or Urdhva Mukha Svanasan (OORD-vah MOO-kah shvon-AHS-anna)
- From Chaturanga Dandasana, inhale into Upward Facing Dog.
- Uncurl your toes to bring the shoelace side of your feet down.
- Press away from your mat to straighten your arms and lift your sternum upward.
- Spin your elbow creases to face forward.
- Stack your shoulders directly above your wrists.
- Continue to spread your fingers wide.
- Lift your knee caps up and firm your thighs, so they hover above your mat.
- Bring your gaze straight ahead.
- Lift up and out of your shoulders.
- Press your tailbone down and tilt your hip points up.
- Turn on your abdominal wall.
- Engage your glutes.
- Hold for 2-3 rounds of breath or exhale into Downward Facing Dog.
- For individuals with back injuries, skip Upward Facing Dog and go straight from Chaturanga Dandasana to High Plank and then Downward Facing Dog.
- Improves posture.
- Strengthens shoulders, wrists, triceps, trapezius, spine, legs and glutes.
- Opens abdominal wall and creates expansion through lungs.
- Therapeutic for asthma and sciatica.
- Helps to relieve mild depression
- Cultivates body and mind awareness.
Chakra (Energetic Body)
- Upward Facing Dog serves as a gentle heart opener, thus energizing our Heart Chakra or fourth chakra (Anahata). This chakra is associated with compassion, service, unconditional love, connectedness and empathy. The element of Anahata is air and the color of this chakra is green. Anahata is the bridge between our lower three chakras and upper three chakras. It’s where “me” becomes “we”. When Anahata is in balance, our perception of separateness dissolves and we develop a greater understanding of our connection with all living beings.
- When we are mindful of our breath, we connect with our body. When we come into our body, we are less in our mind. We are free to live fully in the moment, letting go of the past or the perceived future. We find abundance in the present moment. This is the gift that yoga gives us. Practicing yoga allows us to evolve and harness our power. Not the ego-driven power of our mind, but the power of our spirit. We are open to ourselves and others. We are more loving and kind. We are not trying to be anywhere else, but right here right now.
Gumsaba Fitness Class schedule Monday 6/27/16
5:30AM Sunrise Danville Womens class – Coach Briana – Met Con Monday!
5:30AM Sunrise Danville Mens class – Coach Joel – Met Con Monday!
6AM Sunup Morga Womens only Class – Coach Jentry – TRX Met Con Monday
8:15AM Sunrise Moraga Womens only Class – Coach Michelle & Coach Kristen – TRX Met Con Monday!
9AM Sunshine Walnut Creek Womens only class – Coach Briana – Met Con Monday
11:00AM Cytosport All Levels Cardio Kick – Coach Michelle (private class)
11:30AM Cytosport All Levels Trigger Point Rolling – Coach Michelle (private class)
12:00PM Cytosport Intermediate/Advanced Bodyweight Training – Coach Michelle (private class)
2PM Cytosport Hatha Yoga – Coach Jentry (private class)