Thursday, March 29, 2012

Early Spring Pose of the Moment: Downward-Facing Dog

Adho Mukha Svanasana= Downward-Facing Dog Pose
This is one of the most popular and basic poses for any yoga practitioner to come across because:
-it's accessible to most people
-stretches & strengthens the entire body 
-rejuvenates blood flow to the brain (a mild inversion)
-helps you focus on your breath and clearing the mind
-is a neutral pose to start a sequence of other poses from or to return to if tired
-most of all it feels oh so good!

 This pose works the hip flexor and abs to maintain a neutral spine.  It works/lengthens the entire leg, especially the hamstrings, calves, ankles, feet.  It works/lengthens the shoulders, wrists, deltoids, triceps.  It lengthens the diaphragm and intercostals, allowing for that deep yogic breath to take hold.  
And why is it my pose of the moment, you wonder?  Sometimes we do it so much in yoga classes, that we forget how important it is.  It may not be as exciting as other poses, but it's one that I do every single day.  And as spring has sprung, it is helping me breathe deep and turn inward as I continue to set new intentions of renewal for myself, my family, and you all.  
If you're not sure if you practice it correctly, I encourage you to come to class!  Or don't hesitate to ask your teacher.  See above photos for different angles.  

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