Adho Mukha Svanasana…
…0therwise known as “Down Dog”, is one of the most quintessential yoga poses, and is incorporated in other athletic flexibility training as well. Down Dog is a great full-body stretch, and helps build upper body strength. This pose feels great after you’ve been sitting for a while or after a tough workout.
Take a moment to try this pose, with special attention to a few specific areas, and feel your body come alive!
Start your down-dog by kneeling on all fours, with wrists, elbows and shoulder stacked, and hips stacked above knees. Curl the toes under and push your hips up toward the ceiling, bringing your knees off the floor, but keeping them slightly bent. Now, for a great stretch:
- spread your fingers wide, like starfish, and reach through your arms, feeling your body lift
- relax your chest toward the floor, bringing your head in line with your elbows; feel your spine lengthen
- alternate bending and straightening your knees, feeling a stretch along the back of the leg and into the calf
- raise your hips toward the ceiling by coming up onto your toes; keeping the hips lifted, release the heels toward the floor; feel your sacrum open and your legs lengthen
- pay attention to the lower belly, lifting the belly-button toward the spine; inhale deeply, feeling the lower ribs expand
- when you are ready, release your knees back to the floor, sit back on your heels, with your tummy resting on your thighs; fold your arms in front of your knees and rest your forehead on your arms. Feel your lower back open and release tension.
Repeat as needed. If you are anything like me, it will be often!