Pick a Pose- Downward Facing Dog

FIT Staff
Oct 28, 2013
Down dog, Adho Mukha Svanasana, is a pose that usually comes to mind when hearing the word yoga.
Some folks love it, some hate it and some love to hate it.
Personally, I go through seasons with it.
The change of weather, like what's been going on lately, has put it back in my sadhana. My lower back and hamstrings tighten for seemingly no reason other than I am physically tense as my body adjusts to the cooler temperatures.
On top of more relaxation, fall always brings more hamstring stretches into my practice and downward dog is definitely a mainstay through the snowy days. 
1. Begin in table, with your hands directly below your shoulders and your knees below your hips. Your feet are resting hip width apart. 
2. Take your hands one handprint forward and angle them slightly to the corners of your mat. When you push up  the weight will reside in the 'L' created by your index finger and thumb. 
3. Curl your toes under as in you inhale. Exhale and push the hips up toward to sky, creating a ski slope from the base of your spine to your head. Your legs are straight, pushing the hamstrings towards the wall behind you. 
4. Ensure that your head is between your arms and your elbows are straight, avoiding the traditional 'push-up' arms.
5. Take a few deep and even breaths in and out through your nose. You can remain in this position for a minute or longer if you are more experienced. Gently return to table and push back into child's pose to rest before moving on to the next asana in your practice. 
Like any pose, you know your body and should immediately and gently return to a neutral position if bothered in this asana. Downward dog is a rejuvenating pose, often bringing energy to a sullen body. Practice as you please!