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Get Comfy in Downward Dog

Updated: Oct 31, 2023

Ohh down dog, you beautiful, ever changing, fabulous shape you.


Every time you get into Downward Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Shvanasana) it is a completely new experience.


So never approach it the same.


Here are a few of my top tips to help you get comfy in your first down dog of the day & how to respond to what your body is telling you!


You can be in Downward Dog, hating every second of it. Or you can be in this pose, peaceful and nonreactive, breathing calmly. Either way, you're in this pose. You decide the quality of your experience. Be the thermostat, not the temperature.

- Lisa Genova

 

4 Top Tips to Get Comfy:

  1. MOVE! Get a wiggle on, move your hips, peddle through your feet, shake your head, lift a leg, ripple to plank, you name it... do it! Make lots of strange, gloopy, yet fabulously feel good moves to help you get a sense of how the body is reacting to your downward facing dog today.

  2. LISTEN to the feedback your getting from your body. Tight legs, achy shoulders, is your body resisting, have you got lots of space?

  3. RESPOND! Adjust & take modifications

  4. ACCEPT that this is your downward dog for today & know that it doesn't need to be any more

Downward dog tips

Tight Legs?

  • Bend your knees even deeper than normal whilst keeping your bottom high to the sky

  • Step your feet wider than hip distance towards the outer edges of your mat

  • Keep moving & peddling through your feet

Tight Shoulders?

  • Slightly turn your fingers out towards the long edge of your mat

  • Roll your shoulders out & down like your trying to hide your armpits from someone next to you

  • Take your hands wider than shoulder distance

  • Lengthen the top of your head forward & draw your chin towards your chest slightly

  • Release down onto your knees at anytime

Skip it Completely!

  • Choose puppy dog pose as an alternative posture or maybe just take a childs pose, it's your practice after all!

 

My first ever down dog felt & probably looked a whole lot different to my current down dog. I was in a dance class & we were introduced to this new stretch, if i remember correctly my teacher had been to a new class (probably yoga) & jeeze I remember that resistance from my hamstrings & my curved spine desperately trying to push back towards my thighs, it was so uncomfortable & i didn't do it again for a very long time, until i walked into a yoga class.


If you practice with patience & kindness, with time you might create more space.


However remembering to accept your body, accept your shape & simply breathe there is more than enough.


“When we push for immediate results and instant healing, we never inhabit the important in-between phase, which is where much of the learning and growth actually happen.”

- Bo Forbes


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