Marc Laws guides us through Wild Thing or ‘Flip Dog’ pose (Camatkarasana).
Wild Thing is a great translation for this pose. Sometimes we forget how domesticated we make our bodies with constant sitting and fixed positions. This pose traces the spiral line of fascia opening the hips, heart and throat, a powerful energetic line, whilst physically strengthening the back, shoulders, arms, hands and posterior line of the body. It’s also known to give the body the feeling of increased energy, gaiety and releases serotonin. It’s like a hybrid pose…and it feels so damn good.
The two most common things I see: Stacking the shoulder directly over the wrist closes the space around the shoulder and over time can cause impingements or instability. Next, would be crunching the back of the neck.
Feel the energy you draw from the earth as your hands and feet make contact. As you plug in and trace the lower back, then mid, then the heart lifting, you feel the entire spine lengthen. The strength is in the length. Breathing easy, take long breaths using the inhale to lift a little further. Remember that every pose is a chance for full self expression. Martha Graham expressed poetically: There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all of time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and it will be lost.
- If you feel in discomfort, ease off and re-approach it.
- This a beautiful pose to ease yourself into…use progression.
- Spend time in side plank to build the shoulder stability and alignment.
- As you start to feel comfortable in side plank try a one-legged side plank. Then step your foot back into Wild Thing and ease your way in.
- Keep the back of the neck long and use your reach hand and the rooting of your feet to draw power to the spine.
- Let this pose be a full expression – the heart reaching forward – unapologetically be yourself.
Marc Laws is an ex-professional soccer player and sports therapist turned yoga teacher (marclaws.com). Photo by Andrae Love.