News release about safe yoga practice throughout the world.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Yoga: Three reasons you should not do Yoga posture - Upward-Facing Dog

The Upward-Facing Dog – (Urdhva Mukha Svanasana)

The Upward-Facing Dog posture is not a Cobra (Bhujangasana) posture, but it begins in the same way and then goes one step beyond. The posture is like a suspension bridge, where the arms and forearms support the posture from above, and the feet or knees support it from below, leaving the chest, abdomen, pelvis and thighs suspended in mid-air.

There are four ways of doing the Upward-Facing Dog:

1. Two versions with the knees down on the floor and toes extended or flexed;

(If you go back and forth between the two postures you may feel how the two alternative toe positions affect the pelvis: when toes are flexed and curled under, the pelvis is lifted, but when toes are extended, the pelvis drops).

2. Two versions with the knees up and toes extended or flexed;

(These two versions are the full Upward-Facing Dog positions and both require a whole-body commitment and a lot muscular tension in the quadriceps femoris muscles).

Beginners Tip: There is a tendency in this pose to allow the chest to hang passively between the shoulders. Try to keep the whole pose active, without relaxing the back muscles and draw the shoulders away from the ears by pulling the shoulder blades toward the tailbone.

The Upward-Facing Dog is a dynamic posture that strengthens the spine, arms, wrists, buttocks, and improves the posture. It stretches the chest, shoulders and the abdomen; it opens the heart and expands the lungs.

It rejuvenates the spine, increasing blood supply to the lumbar, thoracic and cervical region of the spine and energizes the nervous system.

The Upward-Facing Dog posture practiced safely with great care can offer many benefits to the student. However, there are some health conditions in which this posture should not be practiced.

Three important reasons (out of many) not to do Upward-Facing Dog:

1) In case of recent or chronic back, shoulder or hip injury do not practice this posture.

2) If you have a Carpal tunnel syndrome do not attempt this posture.

(It is compression of the median nerve at the wrist, which may result in numbness, tingling, weakness, or muscle atrophy in the hand and fingers. The disease typically affects the thumb, index, and middle fingers and is often particularly troublesome at night).

3) If you are pregnant avoid this posture.

Caution: Always check with your doctor if you have any doubts or concerns regarding the suitability of this pose for you. The reader of this article should exercise all precautions before deciding to attempt this posture and the responsibility lies solely with the reader and not with the site or the writer.

Issued in the interest of people practicing Hatha Yoga by Subodh Gupta, Yoga Expert based in London.

Mr.Subodh Gupta, a Corporate Yoga Trainer has conducted more than 500 workshops on Yoga and Stress Management. He has been interviewed by various TV channels in India and London.

For reaching to Subodh Gupta Yoga website and for Subodh Gupta Corporate yoga webpage