Have you ever been to a yoga class and not gone into downdog? I don’t think I have. It’s important to have a strong foundation for this posture.
The benefits of this pose includes:
- Strengthens the arms, legs and core
- Promotes a long spine, improving posture
- Stretches the calves, hamstrings, arches, spine, shoulders and arms
- Increases energy levels
- Encourages blood circulation
- Decreases stress and helps calm the mind against anxiety
I remember being in a class years ago and seeing someone doing an amazing downdog. I remember thinking “I want to be able to get my downdog to look like hers”. Whilst it’s easy to go into comparative thoughts during yoga it is not helpful to you. Leave the egos aside and focus on your own practice. It just takes time stretching and strengthen the muscles. You will get there. Also, appreciate where you are now and how amazing your body is. Try not force yourself to get there and skip the journey. Love your body and challenge yourself towards your goals.
Alternatives & Tips
- Spread your fingers on the mat and press the entire hand down.
- Tuck the toes into the mat and lift sitting bones to the ceiling. Feet are hip width apart.
- In downdog we want to find length in the spine, so take a slight bends at the knees. It raises your hips higher and lengthens the back.
- Breath deeply, bring your hips back. Take weight to the legs, off the shoulders and hands
- Option to have heels down to the floor or lifted.
- To challenge yourself, keep shoulder and hips square, inhale and lift one leg to three-legged dog. Exhale and lower. Try the other leg.
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