Yoga For Wellness: How To Do Downward Dog
This post is part of our Yoga for Wellness Series with Well.ca’s resident yoga expert (& Warehouse Associate) Carolyn Evans! Join us every other Tuesday as Carolyn guides you through a new pose or sequence and teaches you about its benefits.
Downward Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana)
Downward facing dog is a common yoga pose that is often preformed in almost every class you will attend. It is a transitional pose, resting pose and helps to build great strength.
- Start in a table top position, knees bent and directly under your hips. Knees hips width apart. Placing hands slightly forward of your shoulders, shoulder distance apart. Fingers spread nice and wide. Index finger facing forward.
- Tucking the toes, as you exhale begin lifting your knees away from the ground, keeping a slight bend in the knees to start.
- Lengthen your tailbone away from the back of your pelvis while lifting your hips up towards the sky.
- On an exhale, push the tops of the thighs back while stretching your heals down towards the earth. Straightening the knees if you can, but being mindful to not lock them out.
- Keep a long neck with your head comfortable, in line with your arms.
- Hold for several breaths, then exit into another pose or come down into child’s pose for rest.
Tips and Alignment Cues:
- Pressing the palms into the ground, lifting through your inner arms all the way through to your shoulders.
- Firm your shoulder blades to your back, and draw them down towards the tailbone, relaxing the shoulders away from the ears.
- Roll upper tighs inwards slightly
- Engage the lower belly by pulling navel in towards the spine
Tip for Beginners:
If you lack the mobility in your shoulders for this posture, try elevating your hands by placing blocks underneath them.
- Energizes the body
- Strengthens the arms, shoulders and legs
- Stretches the shoulders, hamstrings, calves and hands
- Helps reduce symptoms of menopause
- Improves digestion
- Therapeutic for high blood pressure, asthma and sinusitis
- Calms the brain and helps reduce mild anxiety, depression and stress
- Helps prevents osteoporosis
I am a warehouse associate here at Well.ca, and I’m also Certified Hatha-Vinyasa Yoga Instructor from Guelph. Yoga has helped and encouraged me to step into my true self, and I feel like anyone and everyone can benefit from practising yoga, which is why I feel the need to share my passion with the world! ♥ Namaste