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Stretching Out to Ride the Barrel

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— July 25, 2019

Stretching Out to Ride the Barrel

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Pose: Upward – Facing Dog (Urdhva Mukha Svanasana)

Why You Should Do It: Every surfer knows that a good pop-up is crucial to a good ride—and a strong, flexible back is crucial to a good pop-up. That’s why Upward-Facing Dog, which employs the same motion needed to come into a standing position on the board, should be a part of your practice.

Besides increasing spinal flexibility,

Up Dog also:

» Stretches the abs, chest and shoulders

» Firms the butt

» Improves posture

How to Do It: Start by lying prone on the floor with your legs stretched back, the tops of your feet on the floor and your hands (fingers spread) alongside your waist. Then:

» Inhale and press the inside edges of your hands down and slightly back; straighten your arms while lifting your torso and your legs a few inches off your mat. Your elbow creases should face forward.

» Press your tailbone down while lifting your pubic bone toward your navel. Keep your butt firm.

» Push your shoulder blades into your back while looking straight ahead or tipping the head back slightly.

Note: Don’t push your front ribs forward, which is tough on the back, or compress the back of your neck.

Variation: To make this pose a bit easier, position a blanket roll under the tops of your thighs for light support.

Be Careful If: You have a back injury or carpel tunnel syndrome.

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