Yoga Yonge

Yoga Yonge

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Upward-Facing Dog (Urdhva Mukha Svanasana)

Urdhva mukha svanasana, or upward facing dog pose, is often practiced in sequence with adho mukha svanasana, downward facing dog pose. It is is a powerful pose that awakens upper-body strength and offers a wonderful stretch for the chest and abdomen.

How to do it

Lie on your stomach on mat . Stretch your legs back, with the tops of your feet on the mat. Bend your elbows and spread your palms on the mat beside your waist.
Inhale and press your inner hands firmly into the mat Then straighten your arms and simultaneously lift your cheat up and your legs a few inches off the mat.
Pull your shoulders back, squeeze your shoulder blades, and tilt your head toward the ceiling, to open up your chest.
Beginner's Tip

There's a tendency in this pose to "hang" on the shoulders, which lifts them up toward the ears and create pressure at the neck. Actively draw the shoulders away from the ears by lengthening down along the back armpits, pulling the shoulder blades toward the butt,You can also use block undenath each hand.
Feel free to drop your knees down to reduce tension in your low back


The Health Benefits of Yoga and Exercise: A Review of Comparison Studies

Objectives: Exercise is considered an acceptable method for improving and maintaining physical and emotional health. A growing body of evidence supports the belief that yoga benefits physical and mental health via down-regulation of the hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal (HPA) axis and the sympathetic nervous system (SNS). The purpose of this article is to provide a scholarly review of the literature regarding research studies comparing the effects of yoga and exercise on a variety of health outcomes and health conditions.

Methods: Using PubMed® and the key word “yoga,” a comprehensive search of the research literature from core scientific and nursing journals yielded 81 studies that met inclusion criteria. These studies subsequently were classified as uncontrolled (n = 30), wait list controlled (n = 16), or comparison (n = 35). The most common comparison intervention (n = 10) involved exercise. These studies were included in this review.

Results: In the studies reviewed, yoga interventions appeared to be equal or superior to exercise in nearly every outcome measured except those involving physical fitness.

Conclusions: The studies comparing the effects of yoga and exercise seem to indicate that, in both healthy and diseased populations, yoga may be as effective as or better than exercise at improving a variety of health-related outcome measures. Future clinical trials are needed to examine the distinctions between exercise and yoga, particularly how the two modalities may differ in their effects on the SNS/HPA axis. Additional studies using rigorous methodologies are needed to examine the health benefits of the various types of yoga.


Big Toe Pose

How to do Big Toe Pose
Step One:
Stand up straight and put your feet about one foot length apart. The outside edges of your feet should be straight so that your feet are perfectly parallel to each other, and you can turn the toes slightly in. Now squeeze your thigh muscles to pull them up from your kneecaps, and you need to keep your thigh muscles active for the entire duration of this pose.

Step Two:
Inhale, then exhale as you bend down over your straightened legs and grab your big toes. Grip your toes tightly by placing your index fingers and middle fingers underneath your big toes and then wrapping your thumbs around the tops of your toes. Press the weight of your toes down onto your fingers.

Step Three:
Now without releasing your grip on your toes, straighten your arms and bring your head up to look straight ahead. While lifting your head, push your pelvis slightly back as you pull your chest forward. Extend your whole back straight. Let your stomach drop down as you gently arch your lower back.

Step Four:
Lift up the top of your chest sternum high enough so that your chest can expand fully as you keep breathing. Lift your head up, but do not lift it up so much that you push it back and compress your neck. Breathe in a relaxed way, and don't tense your forehead.

Step Five:
Expand your chest even more by opening your shoulders, rotating them away from each other. On each inhalation, pull your chest forward and elongate your spine. On each exhalation, let your belly drop down further and make your lower back more concave until it feels like you can touch your upper thighs with your belly.

Step Six:
Now with one long exhalation, bend forward and down from your pelvis. First your belly will begin to press against your thighs, then your chest comes down, and your head comes down last. This order is important so that you reach the full extension from your lower back. Let your elbows bend outward from your sides as you pull your toes.

Step Seven:
If you have the flexibility to go deeper into the stretch, then pull your forehead against your shins. Otherwise, just hold the stretch while keeping your back as straight as you can. Do not force yourself to stretch more if your back is hunching because that means that your hamstrings are not getting the full benefit of the pose.

Step Eight:
Remain in the pose for up to one minute. Then on a deep inhalation, keep your thigh muscles engaged and knees straight as you roll up your lower back first, then your middle back, then your chest and finally raise your head last.

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