Everyone could use a little heart opening, but not if you're going to feel worse for trying. Personally, I love practicing Upward-Facing Dog and Cobra, but sometimes students practice these popular poses in ways that might hurt their neck and shoulders. So here are a few simple suggestions and tips to keep yourself safe and your body feeling great.
1. It's always great to start with Cobra Pose to warm up.
2. Spread your fingers under your shoulders and hug your elbows into your ribs.
3. Press into the top of your feet and keep your legs on the floor.
4. Keep the elbows bent to relax the shoulders by the ears.
5. If you want to go deeper in Upward-Facing Dog, slide the hands farther back so that your wrists are under your elbows.
6. Lift your legs off the floor and lengthen your tailbone towards your heels.
7. Arms are straight and front of the chest is open with shoulders away from the ears behind the heart. Only look up if you feel comfortable.
8. Either counter this pose with Downward Facing Dog or release your arms alongside your body and turn your head to one side to rest.