Urdhva Mukha Svanasana (Upward-Facing Dog)
Benefits: Strengthens and stabilises the upper back, shoulders and neck, stretches the calves, hamstrings and wrists, strengthens the core muscles gently.
As with all exercise, you need to listen to your body, keep the back of the neck and spine lengthened and the rib cage lifted. Remember to breathe as you work with the different exercises.
Lie face-down on your yoga mat. With the tops of your feet flat against the floor, stretch the muscles in your legs away from your torso. Bend your elbows and place your palms flat on the floor beside you waist so that your fingers are pointing forward.
Press your hands firmly flat against the floor, as though you were trying to push yourself forward. Simultaneously lift your torso and straighten your arms, so that the tops of your thighs slightly lift off the mat.
Breathe and hold the pose for 15 – 30 seconds. This pose can be performed as part of the traditional Sun Salutation or on its own. To exit, release back onto the mat or lift smoothly into Adho Muha Svasana.