Welcome to week 3 of yoga workshop Fridays. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, click here.
This series will be each Friday explaining how to do a particular pose leading up to a peak pose on the last Friday of the month. Throughout this series, I ask that you listen to your body to prevent injury and warm up for a pose when needed.
Disclaimer: Though I am a certified yoga instructor, please consult your doctor before you begin practice and note that everyone’s practice may look a bit different as you align the pose to your body.
This week we are focusing on downdog, or in sandskrit, adho mukha svanasana. Downdog is a resting pose within the sun salutations. For me, holding this pose can be very challenging and my arms definitely get tired.
In my teacher training I learned that my arm bones are more curvy and therefore my downdog might look slightly different from yours. As I mention below you should be externally rotating your arms. My right shoulder has shoulder bursitis, so for me to properly work on the external rotation, I learned I have to bring my shoulders forward a bit more. Remember you are aligning the pose to your body. If you have any questions about your downdog form, consult your yoga teacher.
How to do the pose:
Starting from hands and knees, plant your hands on the mat, index fingers should be pointing straight forward. Spreading the fingers wide and press into each of the knuckles. We tend to press towards our pinky fingers in this pose, so if you notice that, try to press inward towards the thumbs and remember it’s important to even out the weight.
Tuck your toes under and send your hips up. Press your heels towards the ground, even if they are not touching the ground. You will notice in my picture that my heel do not touch. Only recently with a continuous practice and being really warmed up do I get my heels to touch.
To get a better form, slightly bend the knees, then lift the hips higher and slowly straighten the legs. Draw your belly in, draw your shoulder blades up along the back to widen them. Externally rotate the arms. Legs continue with an internal rotation just like tadasana. Look towards your feet, keeping your head between your arms.
- Mild inversion, good for calming the brain
- Lengthens the muscles of the back
- Strengthens the arms and legs
- Stimulates digestive organs
Share your pose on Instagram, tagging @bridgesthroughlife and hashtags #bridgesthroughlife #yogaworkshopFridays
I hope you enjoy this series. If you have any suggestions for what poses you would like me to break down, leave a comment or send me an email [email protected]
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