How to Accomplish Elegance In Downward Facing Dog

Downward Facing Dog - Adho Mukha Savanasana

Get the alignment that your body craves with these essential tips from a teacher.

Stretch the entire back body, calm the nervous system and quieten the mind.

Get the full benefits of Downward Facing Dog today by watching the complete instruction at Yoga.org.nz.

 

Video Transcript:

(You’ll get the most benefit from this transcript by watching the video above)

Downward Facing Dog

Today’s tip is downward facing dog. Today, we’ll get Soraya to lie down on the mat so that we can get the correct length of the pose with her hands and the feet. So if come to lie, Soraya, and if you have the heel of the hands, yes, pretty much, so that the heel of the hand is just behind the shoulders. The fingertips are just a bit forward of the shoulders. If you take your feet to hip width and tuck the toes, that’s it.

Now, without moving your hands or the feet, if you come up to kneeling, just come to kneeling, nice. Spreading the fingers, press the hands down into the floor, press the ball of the feet to  the floor, and now, lifting the buttocks up to the  ceiling, coming up into the down dog.

Now, you can see that Soraya has got the tendency to allow her head to lift, so if she just releases the head and brings the chest towards the shins, that’s a lot better. One of the other common problems when you do the down dog is people tend to let this index finger knuckle lift. They both lift and the shoulders are rolling. So if we press the ball of the index finger into the floor, and spread to the ball of the little finger, this will help open the shoulders. You can see Soraya’s neck there, just lengthening and opening.

Keep pressing the ball of the feet to the floor and lifting through the thighs. The shoulder blades draw out the back towards the buttocks. And breathe. And you can see, this is a lot better pose from where Soraya was at the start.

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