Why Down Dog?
Wednesday, July 15, 2020
Yes, Downward Dog is weight-bearing pose, but it prepares our hands and feet for standing and arm balancing poses.
By stretching the cervical spine and neck, it allows the head and your mind to relax. In addition, as the hips lift and the head drops below the heart, the pull of gravity is reversed and fresh blood flows, aiding in circulation. So the next time you’re in Downward Dog, enjoy the obvious and not-so-obvious benefits of the pose.
How to perform Downward Dog:
1. Begin on the floor in tabletop- on your hand and knees. Place knees directly below hips and hands slightly forward of the shoulders. Spread palms. Index fingers should be parallel or slightly turned out. Turn toes under.
2. Exhale and lift knees away from the floor. In the beginning, keep the knees slightly bent and the heels lifted away from the floor. Lengthen the tailbone away from the back of the pelvis and press it lightly toward the pubis. Lift the sitting bones toward the ceiling. Draw the inner legs up into the groins.
3. On an exhalation, push the top of the thighs back and stretch the heels onto or down toward the floor. Straighten the knees, while taking care not to lock them. Firm the outer thighs and roll the upper thighs inward slightly. Narrow the front of the pelvis.
4. Press the bases of the index fingers actively into the floor. From these two points lift along the inner arms from the wrists to the tops of the shoulders. Draw the shoulder blades down the back, then widen and continue to draw shoulders toward the tailbone. Keep the head between the upper arms.
5. Stay in the pose anywhere from 1 to 3 minutes.
6. To release, bend the knees to the floor on an exhalation and rest in Child’s Pose.
- Calms the brain and helps relieve stress and mild depression.
- Energizes the body.
- Stretches the shoulders, hamstrings, calves, arches, and hands.
- Strengthens the arms and legs.
- Helps relieve the symptoms of menopause.
- Relieves menstrual discomfort when done with head supported.
- Helps prevent osteoporosis.
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