How’s your down dog?
Just because it’s one of the most routine yoga poses doesn’t make it any easier to do properly. As with any pose, there’s a lot to work on.
When I’m in the pose, it doesn’t take me very long before I start getting tired and my focus goes from working my hands into the ground, rotating my elbows in, widening the collar bones, rooting through my heels and extending upwards through the pelvis, to “Holy crap, how am I going to survive this for another moment?!”
In that transition from working the pose to surviving it, we lose the benefits of being in it.
Which benefits? It calms your brain, lengthens and straightens your spine and legs, and helps open your shoulders, to name a few. But how can we spend more time developing our pose and getting its benefits, without giving in to fatigue?
By making your down dog pose a bit more passive, you can increase your duration and observe how each part of your body is working.
Here’s how to do it:
For even more feedback, you can do the same pose pressing your heels into a wall. This will energize your legs and send your pelvis higher as you work with the push-pull action between your heels and your pelvis, and between your heels and your hands.
Che Nolan is a propologist with a major in bolsterology and an Iyengar yoga practitioner with a daily meditation practice. He is also a writer and a regular Halfmoon contributor.