SANSKRIT: Urdhva Mukha Svanasana (OORD-vah MOO-kah shvon-AHS-anna)

DESCRIPTION: The body is in a prone position parallel to the earth. The weight of the body is supported equally by the straight arms and the tops of the feet which press firmly into the earth. The shoulders are rotated back and down. The ribcage is lifted and pulled thru to the front in a slight upper thoracic backbend. The joints are stacked with the wrists, elbows and shoulders in a straight-line. The neck is a natural extension of the spine and the chin is slightly tucked. The abdomen is pulled up towards the spine. The palms are flat and the elbows are close to the side body. The gaze is forward.

BENEFITS: Improves posture. Strengthens the spine, arms, and wrists. Stretches the chest, lungs, shoulders, and abdomen. Firms the buttocks. Stimulates abdominal organs. Helps relieve mild depression, fatigue, and sciatica. Therapeutic for asthma.