Upward Facing Dog Pose is a great yoga pose for kids, or Urdhva Mukha Svanasana in Sanskrit, the language of yoga. Kids these days sit a lot! They sit in criss cross applesauce on the floor and wait for their friends in preschool. Lots of lessons are also taught sitting in preschool. Once kids go to elementary school, they sit at tables or desks, keeping their elbows on the table rounding forward to do their schoolwork. Kids come home and do their homework rounding forward on their computers, and then when they are done, they play on tablets, iPads, their phones, whatever electronics they can get their hands on.
Benefits of Practicing Upward Facing Dog
Practicing upward facing dog pose can help lengthen and strengthen the spine, opens the chest area, creates strength in the arms wrists and fingers. Upward facing dog also can help asthma, by opening up the chest lungs and belly, when breathing fully into the lungs they are able to receive more oxygen and are able to open up. This yoga pose is also beneficial in relieving fatigue and depression.
To practice Upward Facing Dog:
1. Start by laying on your belly.
2. Bring hands under the shoulders, spreading fingers wide, and keeping wrists on the ground.
3. Gently press into hands, straightening arms, and drawing shoulder blades together to lift the heart, look gently up into the sky, draw belly into the spine and let the top of the feet stay on the floor.
4. Take 3 to 6 deep breaths, maybe even a few barks.
5. Gently lower onto the belly, bringing one ear to the floor and arms back down by the sides.
6. Take a few deep breaths belly down, and repeat!
While practicing upward facing dog be sure not to collapse in the shoulders, press firmly into arms, creating space in between the ears and shoulders, and make sure the arms are under the shoulder.
Always remember yoga should never hurt, and always be fun!