Body/Mind Perspective: Downward Dog

Posted on June 15, 2010 by

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Samantha Ray

Downward Dog

Adho Mukha Svanasana

The benefits of Downward Dog include :

* Calms the brain and helps relieve stress and mild depression

* Energizes the body

* Stretches the shoulders, hamstrings, calves, arches, and hands

* Strengthens the arms and legs

* Helps relieve the symptoms of menopause

* Helps prevent osteoporosis

* Improves digestion

* Relieves headache, insomnia, back pain, and fatigue

Instruction:

1.  Come onto the floor on your hands and knees. Set your knees directly below your hips and your hands slightly forward of your shoulders. Spread your palms engaging all 4 corners, index fingers parallel, and turn your toes under.

2.  Exhale and lift your knees away from the floor. At first keep the knees slightly bent and the heels lifted away from the floor. Lengthen your spine and lift the sitting bones toward the ceiling, and from your inner ankles engage the inner legs up into the groins.

3.  Then with an exhalation, push your top thighs back and stretch your heels onto or down toward the floor. Straighten your knees but be sure not to lock them. Firm the outer thighs and roll the upper thighs inward slightly. Narrow the front of the pelvis.

4.  Engage the outer arms and press the all four corners of the hands actively into the floor.   Shoulder blades are together and down in your back pockets.  Keep the head between the upper arms; don’t let it hang.

Stay in this pose 1-3 mins and then relax into Child’s Pose.

Downward Dog