Although a simple pose, dog tilt
requires precise body positioning. The knees should be directly under
the hips and the hands should be directly under the shoulders. On an
inhale, the sitting bones and sternum are lifted toward the sky as
the belly sinks. As the back arches, the head curls gently toward the
sky. When pairing dog tilt and cat tilt, the yogi should
inhale into dog and exhale into cat.
Dog tilt is believed to reduce stress
by releasing back tension and calming the mind, especially when
paired with cat tilt. Dog tilt stretches the hips and low to middle back, stretches the neck and front of the torso, strengthens the core muscles, lengthens the spine, and stimulates internal organs, especially the kidneys and adrenal glands.
Kneeling on a blanket can protect the
knees, but those with knee or wrist injuries can practice dog tilt (and cat tilt) while seated upright in a chair. Anyone with a neck
injury should keep the head in line with the torso, rather than lift
the gaze upward.