Downward Facing Dog is a pose used often in many yoga classes. It is used as a resting pose or a transitional pose.
- Place hands and feet on the mat (or ground) about three feet apart. Imagine yourself creating a triangle with your body.
- Allow your hands to be shoulder distance apart.
- Press all four corners of your hands into the mat and feel the energy in your hands as if you are opening two jars. This will motivate the arms to engage and have a slight inward rotation.
- Release your shoulders so they are away from your ears, creating space for your neck and head.
- Let your head hang and gaze at your feet, or, if you have the mobility, toward your navel.
- Allow your feet to be hip distance apart.
- Press your heels toward the mat, however, allow yourself to bend your knees if necessary. Continue to press your heels toward the ground and your hips toward the sky.
- Let your navel come in toward the spine.
- Feel your hips lift and create a spinal release from hip to head, and a leg muscle release from hip to heel.
- Stay in the pose for about five deliberate breaths, or one minute.
The pose removes fatigue and brings back lost energy. It aids in relieving stiffness in the heels and shoulders. It strengthens the ankles and opens the shoulder blades.