Skimble’s Exercise 101: Downward Facing Dog


Today we are going to show you a little more detail about one of our favorite yoga stretches, Downward Facing Dog.

Set-Up: On your yoga mat, come onto your hands and knees. Your fingers, especially the index fingers, should point straight forward. With your exhalation, lead with your belly and lift your pelvis to form an inverted ‘V’ with your body. Straighten your arms and legs.

Alignment: As you exhale, press your thigh bones back and reach your heels down toward the floor. Turn your heels slightly outward and let them disappear behind your ankles. Press the base of your fingers down as if you want to press the floor away from you, keeping your inner elbows facing each other. Keep your breath deep and steady.

General Tips: Think of your torso moving back and up as you press the floor away from you with your hands. Move your pelvis up and away from your spine in a diagonal line toward the ceiling behind you. Following Downward Facing Dog, rest in Child’s pose.

Benefits: Downward Facing Dog is like doing a quick yoga session. It stretches the feet, calves, hamstrings, back, shoulders and hands. It strengthens the arms and stimulates abdominal organs. This is a versatile pose that can relieve tension after long hours of sitting or warm up the body before any athletic activity.

Try some of our favorite workouts with downward facing dog: Supple Body Yoga, Stretching the Yoga Way and the Advanced Yoga Workshop.

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