Cat pose and downward facing dog
There are many different poses in yoga but I have lower back pain and shoulder tension, thus when I look at the poses I tried to look for basic yoga poses that help relieve pain in your low back. Also, I have been struggle with depression and anxiety, I’m hoping to learn how to relax and reduce the amount of my medication.
The first pose is cat pose is one of the poses that we learned in class. Sanskrit term for cat pose is Marjaryasana. When we do this pose, you want your shoulder to relax, do not shrug in your shoulder. We also should let our neck free, also do not force our head into our chest. Cat pose supposes to loosen the back and spine. The follow-up pose is cow pose (Bitilasana). Preparation poses for cat pose are eagle pose (Garudasana), child pose (Balasana). The sequences of poses that I did are child pose, cat pose, and then cow pose.
Advice for this pose is when we are doing the cat pose, if we find it’s hard to round the very top of our back; we could ask a friend to put their hands above and between shoulder blades to get it active. Thus, it could make this pose easier. Benefits of the cat pose are: it is excellent to create a supple spine and preventing injury, it also purifies the blood, reinvigorates the spine and internal organs, relives tension from the lower back. It also relaxes our neck where we tend to put tension.
The second pose is downward facing dog pose. The Sanskrit term for this pose is Adho Mukha Svanasana. If we break this term down, the words “adho” meaning downward, “mukha” meaning face, and “svana” meaning dog. This pose requires strong back leg and it focus on the upper back. The benefits of the pose are calms the brain, helps relieve stress and mild depression. Because it’s an upside down pose, it also helps energize the body, stretches the shoulders, hamstrings, calves, arches and hands.
Plank pose (Adho Mukha Svanasana) and standing forward fold (Uttanasana) are preparatory poses. Some follow-up poses are supported headstand (salamba sirsasana) and standing forward fold (uttanasana). This is the sequence of three poses that I did: plank pose, standing forward fold, and downward facing dog. I was feeling at ease when I followed the instruction and do the poses. My mood did lighten up a bit since I do have depression. Some advices when we do downward facing dog is you could raise your hand off the floor on two weight for the wrist, or the seat of a metal folding chair in case of having difficulty releasing and opening your shoulders, feeling that it’s hard on your wrists.
I had a back injury thus doing yoga is really a challenge for me. I like yoga because it’s a self- challenge. I don’t have to compete with anyone except myself. I can do most of the pose in the class thus I don’t feel frustration. However, after I did couple poses in class I often have low back pain especially when I lay down on my back. I learned the patient and as well as relaxation technique through yoga. I think this meditation is what I really appreciate because I have depression and anxiety. Since I practice yoga again this semester, I did cut down on my medication and feel like my mood lifted a lot better.