Video:How to Do Downward Facing Dogwith Milo De Prieto
Downward facing dog is one the most common poses in yoga, and can be both a resting pose and a stretch for your back. Here are tips on how to do downward facing dog correctly.See Transcript
Transcript:How to Do Downward Facing DogHello, I'm Milo for About.com and today we're talking about how to do the pose called Downward Facing Dog and in Hindi, Adho Mukha Savasana.
Purposes of Downward Facing DogThis pose is so common that even if you haven't done yoga before you've probably heard of it. It literally is named after the stretch that dogs do typically after a nap. It also serves 3 purposes. Sometimes it is used as a transition, such as in the sun salutation. It can be a strength builder, as you will see the longer you hold it. It can also incidentally be a resting pose.
How to Enter Downward Facing DogNormally you enter Downward Facing Dog from another pose such as the lunge. To start, get on the floor on your hands and knees. Yoga is about alignment so ensure your hands are directly underneath your shoulders and your knees underneath your hips.
Raise your hips up as you straighten your legs and your arms. Imagine a line at your groin where you body folds. Most likely your heels will not touch the floor, but you can work on that. That is the beauty of yoga, you will ease into more advanced levels of each pose as your practice improves.
Your arms should still be in line with your shoulders and your knees and feet in line with your hips. Your heels should reach for the floor behind you. And your fingers should stretch out grabbing the floor in front.
Tips for Deepening Downward Facing DogTo further reach into the pose, turn your elbows outward away from each other. And open your shoulder blades. This deepens you into the pose as you stretch forward through your fingers, back through your heels, and up through your groin.
As you get used to this pose you can see that it can be strengthening as you work into the stretch, focusing on the points I just mentioned. You can also see, once you are used to it, that you can rest in the pose especially between poses.
There are forms of yoga where you quickly move between poses. Each, like this one as you see is rather complicated. But the more your practice each one, especially this one, you will be able to move in and out of the pose quickly.
For more information, check us out at About.com.
About videos are made available on an "as is" basis, subject to the User Agreement.