Each Month, starting January 2018 and continuing through December 2018, I will present concise illustrated instructions for a yoga pose (if not two or three) that you can practice along with. Strung together, the twelve poses make up a balanced yoga sequence. This sequence will incorporate a warm-up at the start, then poses to take you through a wide range of movement and focused work, and finishes with some resting poses.

January | February | March | April | May | June | July | August | September | October | November | December

Adho Mukha Svanasana:
downward facing dog pose with wall ropes, or a yoga belt and door handle.

Benefits: Practicing this way minimizes the weight born by the hands, arms and shoulders, i.e. you experience shakiness in the arms, or shoulder pain, practice with this support so that you can hold the pose for a while longer (3–5 minutes). Working with this support allows the elbows, armpits and shoulder joints to open. Those with carpel syndrome tunnel will also benefit from this variation, as the spreading of the palms and fingers will help release enflamed muscles and ligaments, without strain. Adho Mukha Svanasasa inverts the internal organs and calms the mind.

Model: Susan Turis.

1. Secure the belt: If wall ropes aren’t available, you can loop a long yoga belt around some strong door handles, or door- knobs. Make sure that the door hinges can bear your weight.

2. Step inside the belt and walk forward until it pulls taught. Bend your knees and bend forward. Place your hands on the floor. Step your feet back either side of the door as far as they will go. Walk your hands forward as far as they will go. Once you get into the pose, be still and make your adjustments without moving the body from side to side so that the door doesn't wobble.

practice notes

Arms: Roll your inner, upper arms out. Squeeze your elbows in. Press the base of the index fingers down into the floor.

Legs: Roll your inner thighs back. Press your heels back and down. Lift and spread your toes. Press the base of your big toes down, and until you feel the outer calf muscles compress in onto the outer shin-bone.

As a Restorative Pose: You can also practice this way to refresh the brain as part of a restorative sequence. Support your head on a bolster or brick.

With thanks and gratitude to my teachers, BKS Iyengar (1918-2014), Prashant Iyengar, Geeta Iyengar, Abhijata Sridhar, and Sunita Parthasarthy.

Drawings and text © Bobby Clennell. All rights reserved. No reproduction without prior permission.

©2008 – 2018 Bobby Clennell.