‘Bitila’= cow, ‘āsana’= posture
Dog Tilt Pose (Svanasana)
Difficulty Level: Beginner
Pose Type: Backbend / Stretch / Kneeling
• Straight ahead – Eye level
1. Start in Table Pose (Bharmanasana), on your hands and knees, with your knees under your hips and your shoulders over your wrists.
2. Make sure your calf muscles are parallel to each other with the tops of your feet face down and your toes pointing straight back. Press down through your palms and knees as you spread your fingers and ground yourself to the mat. Be sure not to lock your elbows.
3. Inhale, using your diaphragm to expand your belly. Arch the spine by pressing your hips down and raising the tailbone to the sky. At the same time, start to lift the chest forward and up while slightly tilting the chin up. Feel the abdomen lengthen and drop toward the floor. This helps create a ‘U’ shape with the spine. Arch your back as far as is comfortable.
4. Open your chest and drop your shoulders, bringing the shoulder blades toward each other and flat. Imagine drawing the collar bones apart. Keep the neck soft.
5. Hold for a couple of breaths using your core muscles for stability.
6. When you are ready, release and exhale back to Table Pose (Bharmanasana) or Cat Pose (Marjaryasana).
• Strained neck
• Shoulders raised up by ears
• Movement is too quick
• Knees are not in line with hips
• Shoulders are not in line with wrists
• Gazing down
• Too much weight on the wrists
• Elbows are locked
• For students with wrist injuries, they can either a) elevate their wrists with a blanket, folded mat, or bolster, b) form fists and practice on knuckles, or c) go down to their forearms (with or without a block).
• Students with knee injuries can place a folded blanket or bolster under their knees for support.
• For students who have trouble balancing or feel discomfort in their ankles, have them curl their toes under for stability and/or add a blanket under the ankles for comfort.
• To get a deeper stretch, have students look over one shoulder, while squeezing the hip and shoulder on that side towards each other. Repeat on the other side.
• Cat (Marjaryasana)
• Child’s Pose (Balasana)
• Downward-Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana)
• Happy Baby (Ananda Balasana)
• Thread the Needle Pose (Parsva Balasana)
• Wide Child’s Pose (Prasarita Balasana)
• Extended Puppy Pose (Uttana Shishosana)
• Neck • Shoulders (Deltoids)
• Chest (Pectoralis Major) • Biceps and Triceps
• Abdomen (Core) • Lower (Lumbar), Middle (Thoracic) and Upper (Cervical) Back and Spine
• Hips (Iliopsoas) • Gluteus Maximus
• Quadriceps and Hamstrings • Calf muscles
• Stretches the spine, neck, and shoulders and improves flexibility while lengthening the spine. It also strengthening the arms, abdomen, shoulders / shoulder joints, hips / hip joints, wrists, and back which improves posture / alignment. It also makes this posture therapeutic for students with mild carpal tunnel syndrome, sciatica, tendonitis and lower back injuries (may need to use props to get this benefit).
• Improves circulation and digestion by massaging internal organs and abdomen muscles. Also stimulates the kidneys and adrenal glands and aids with menstrual discomfort.
• Relieves tension around the neck, shoulders, middle and lower back by loosening and relaxing them. This relaxes the mind, reduces stress, and is good for pre/postnatal students as well as students with Fibromyalgia. It is also good for students with insomnia as it encourages good sleep.
• Opens the chest, lower back, throat, shoulders, and abdominal cavity.
• Sharpens focus.
1. Student with severe neck, shoulders, wrist, hips, knees, or back injuries should avoid this pose or use a modification or prop.
2. Students with high blood pressure, migraines, spondylitis, severe carpal tunnel syndrome, or arthritis in the knees and wrists, should avoid this posture unless doing a modification or using a prop and guidance.
• Mula Bandha