Monday, September 8, 2014

In Rhythms Yoga: Monday Morning Extended Puppy Pose

Lengthen into Extended Puppy Pose as a nice variation from Downward Facing Dog. In Extended Puppy Pose, there is less pressure on the wrists than in Downward Facing Dog. The benefits of Puppy Pose include creating length in the spine, building flexibility and strength in the shoulders and arms while building stability and strength in the core. Puppy Pose done with proper alignment, including not collapsing in the area of the ribs or low back, takes awareness and concentration. Practice being mindful and creating a steady and even flowing breath.

To move into Extended Puppy Pose: Come to the hands and knees, a table-top position. Bring extra padding under the knees for more comfort, a blanket, towel, or rolled-up yoga mat. Draw the hips over the knees and the shoulders stacked over the wrists. Begin to walk the palms forward, shoulder-width distance apart, extending through the spine and an creating an opening in the
area of the shoulders. Option to use a block under the forehead for support.

Using a yoga block to support the forehead
Keep the elbows lifted off of the ground, or if too intense on the shoulders, option to drop the forearms down to the ground. Draw the sitting bones, or the ischial tuberosity, the bones that we use when we sit, away from the hands. Notice if the low back and ribs are collapsing downward. Draw the low-belly inwards toward the spine in order to strengthen the area of the core and bring correct alignment of the spine.

Stay here and breathe, 3-5 full rounds of breath (one inhale and exhale equals one-round of breathe).
Create slow and even breaths. Bring awareness to the changes of the physical body on each inhale and exhale. Notice on each inhale, how the belly rises, the chest expands, even the back line of the body opens wider. Notice on each exhale, how the back and chest contracts, the belly softens, and the body and mind relax.

Notice how you feel after moving into Puppy Pose. Notice if the body feels “lighter” and notice if the mind feels more at ease.

Check with your doctor before performing any form of exercise including yoga. Always honor your body. If a posture gives you pain, gently come out.

Christi Iacono, owner of In Rhythms Yoga

Christi Iacono is a certified yoga teacher, at the 500 hour level, and she is the owner of In Rhythms Yoga, in Clairemont. IRY is a small neighborhood studio in Clairemont, S.D., located in the Mount Streets. Christi has experienced many positive physical and mental transformations from her regular yoga practice. She enjoys sharing her experience, passion, and dedication with her students. She believes that yoga is accessible to all. Rather than forcing someone’s body into a pose, Christi carefully works with each individual to find the variation that will best serve their body. Contact for more info.

IRY offers regularly scheduled classes on, Sat., Sun. and Wed. mornings as well as a Tues. evening class. Go to to see the full schedule, instructors and for private lessons.

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