Build upper body strength and stretch the spine and neck with this version of Caterpillar Pose – also known as Eight-Limbed Pose.
Caterpillar Pose (Ashtangasana) – also known as Eight-Limbed Pose, Eight-Pointed Pose, Knees-Chest-Chin Pose, or Ashtanga Namaskara – is a beginner-level yoga pose that helps to stretch the neck and realign the spine, and also builds strength in the arms, shoulders, back and upper body. It also stretches the toes and soles of the feet, strengthens the hands and forearms, and may help to strengthen the core muscles and prevent back pain.
If you have recent or chronic injury to the wrists, elbows, shoulders, back, or neck, you should avoid this pose. If you have sensitive knees, you may wish to place a folded blanket under your knees when doing Caterpillar.
Here are the basic instructions for Caterpillar Pose:
1. From Puppy Pose, slowly exhale and lower the chin and chest straight down to the floor, bringing the chest between the palms.
2. Keep the elbows close to your sides, press the chest down towards the floor and lift the tailbone up towards the ceiling.
3. Breathe and hold for 2-4 breaths or vinyasa between Puppy and Caterpillar, inhaling into Puppy and exhaling into caterpillar.
4. Breathe and hold for 4-12 breaths.
5. To release, inhale into Puppy pose and exhale into Table Pose or slide the chest forward through the arms into prone position.
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