Yoga Routine


Up-Dog Pose

This pose is widely unappreciated, but after observing many classes that included it, I quickly became aware of the benefits. In this pose, you are holding your body up by your feet and hands while your back is arched. (If there is any confusion, see “Your First Yoga Routine” and it will become clear what this pose looks like.) Now, there are different variations, so I will go through each one:

When you hold yourself up by your shins, feet, and palms, most of the workout is in your arms, shoulders and chest. You will also get a fantastic stretch in your abdomen. Many feel this makes them taller. And while that isn’t yet proven to be physically possible, it helps strengthen your core muscles in a longer shape so that you are able to hold yourself up higher when you stand.  If you feel like shimmying a little, as well, it can provide you with more of a muscle burn.

Now, if you lift yourself up off of your shins and simply use your toes and palms to stay up, you will receive the upper body workout from the previous variation, as well as a nice burn in your knees and upper butt/lower back.

Now, for the hardest one, roll your body forward slightly from the second variation and you should be resting on the tops of your feet and your palms. This is quite rough on the ankles and feet at first, so I would recommend one of the other two versions first. But once you are able to pull this one off, your shins will receive a nice stretch and the sides of your calve muscles will become more developed.