Thursday, August 13, 2015

Downward Facing Dog

Guys. I wrote this long, beautiful post about Downward Facing Dog. I did. It was beautiful. I pressed save probably 7 times. It disappeared. The internets swallowed it up. Its in some black hole now. Swirling off into nothingness.

I'm very irritated. Sure I'm a meditating, yoga doing, green smoothie drinking kind of gal. But I still get irritated. On the daily. Stupid internets.

Any ways, back to the point. Downward Facing Dog, or Adho Mukha Svanasana. From Upward Facing Dog exhale and using your core press your hips up and back, either rolling over the toes or just flipping your feet. Bend your knees at first to really press your hips back, feet hip distance apart, and then slowly start to straighten your legs. Try to press your heels down to the mat, but if they don't touch don't stress. "Practice and all is coming."  (I'm compulsively pressing save every 10 seconds here.)

Some alignment cues here (starting from the top!) Fingers should be spread wide, pressing fully into your entire palm. Shoulders away from the ears and pressed down the back. Ribcage knit together, pull your belly button up and back towards your spine (otherwise known as your Uddiyana bandha. We'll talk more about bandhas very soon. Pinky swear.) Pressing your hips up and back, your thighs rotate towards each other, and press y our heels down towards the mat.

The most important thing to do here is breathe! Once you've pressed back into downward facing dog, take five deep breaths. Every inhale fills the torso, breathing into the back and the toes and the fingers. Every exhale you knit the ribcage together. If you are finding it hard to focus on your breathing, come down to child's pose for a bit. The breath is the most important thing in any yoga practice. So BREATHE! And the rest will come on its own.

A few modifications: Bend the knees, a LOT. If you have wrist issues, come down to the forearms for Dolphin pose. And, of course, child's pose is always an option.

Check back tomorrow as we finish off our first sun salutation!

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