Downward Facing Dog

Safety:

  • Press all finger tips down till they turn white, lift the inner shoulders.
  • Point the biceps in and squeeze the elbows straight.
  • Tone legs - press your thigh bones back.
  • If the shoulders are hyper-mobile: engage your belly by drawing the front ribcage in, lift the armpits up slightly before lifting the inner shoulders and stretch back.
  • If the hamstring is tight: the low back will round and it will be higher than your sacrum. Bend the knees as much as necessary and stretch the spine. Keep lifting your sitting bones high and curve the in the low back in. Do not straighten the legs.
  • Reach the heels towards the floor to stretch the back of the legs.

Actions:

  1. From All-fours (on your hands and knees), tuck the toes under. Lift the knees and  press into the arms. Lift the hips up high.
  2. Press all fingers down to the floor, feel the energy activate both arms. Firm the forearms in without hyper-extending the elbows. Push the hands down and forward. Stretch your sternum towards your thigh.
  3. Externally rotate the upper arm. Relax the neck and head.
  4. To come out, bend the knees and place them on the floor. Bring the shoulders over wrists and walk the knees forward until they are directly below the hips.

Repeat on the second side.

Refinement:

  • If you are relatively comfortable in this posture, you can take a wider stance of the hands the feet. Keep the safe engagement while having a bigger stance.
  • This pose is optimal for stretching your back, spine, shoulders and legs.
  • Often in Vinyasa or Hatha classes, this is a pose that is done many times. It is important to treat this point in any other pose; continue to breathe in curiosity and exploration.

Main menu