Benefits: Strengthens the back, shoulders, arms, and wrists. Stretches the belly. Improves sense of balance. Calms the brain and helps relieve stress and mild depression. http://link.brightcove.com/services/link/bcpid1119170468http://www.brightcove.com/channel.jsp?channel=1078627964

(Adho Mukha Vrksasana)

Physical: Whole body strength (abs, arms, back); stretches belly
Emotional: Balance, energy
Rx For: Balancing hormones

1. Facing a wall, come into Downward Facing Dog, with your middle fingers about 4 inches away from the wall and hands shoulder-width apart. As you press strongly into your palms, firm your shoulder blades against your back, rotate your upper arms out, and get ready to fly.
2. Start by practicing a few hops: Bend and slightly step one foot forward and hop as you kick the opposite leg up toward the wall. Do this a few times, hopping a bit higher each time. Think about bringing your hips directly over your shoulders.
3. When you feel ready to be airborne, take a great big hop and kick the opposite leg up high so that your heel swings forward to touch the wall, then the other leg follows. Now you are balancing against the wall upside down with both heels touching the wall.
4. Straighten your legs, reach out through the balls of the feet, engage abdominals, and breathe.
5. Your head should hang between your shoulder blades with your gaze resting toward the center of the room. Lengthen the sides of your body and roll your thighs toward each other. Stay here for 10 seconds—that’s enough.
6. To come down, slowly lower one leg and then the other until you are hanging in a forward bend. Stay here for a few breaths and relax, then sit up, head high, to avoid feeling lightheaded.

Avoid if experiencing glaucoma, inflammatory diseases in the head region, severe hypertension, recent or chronic injury to the head, neck, or spine, headache, menstruation, heart condition, high or low blood pressure.


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