As usual, Friday=Hot Yoga Day! Today at Kathy Vanderselt's class at Yoga Source there was one move that I felt an amazing stretch in that worked wonders for all the upper body (especially chest and shoulders) I have been focusing on all week: Quarter Dog, or Catur Svanasana.
Quarter Dog has many benefits. For people with wrist issues, you can get all the benefits of Downward Dog without the strain on your wrists because your forearms are on the ground. By placing your forearms on the ground and pushing back through your heels and lengthening throughout your torso, you also hit a different angle of your upper body, increasing the stretch throughout your chest.
1-Begin in Downward Dog, creating length in your torso, stretching your pelvis to the ceiling, and grounding your body both in the heels and your palms.
2-Spread your fingers wide and bring the heads of your thumbs together. Make sure that your middle fingers are extending straight forward in front of you.
3-Lower your forearms to the ground, or as low as your body allows. Keep your forearms and elbows parallel.
4-Straighten your legs as much as you can, working on bringing your heels to the ground. At the same time, relax your head as low as possible between your arms. Create length in your arms by grounding your forearms into the ground and stretching your torso up to the ceiling.
5-Hold this position for five deep breaths.