Asana: Downward Dog


Sankrit: Adho Mukha Svanasana (AH-doh MOO-kah shvah-NAHS-anna)

Downward dog is a basic pose many yogis know. It is used in all the flows I have experienced when going to classes. It is a great transitioning pose and resting pose. Downward dog helps calm and relax you. It works your arms, legs, shoulders, hamstrings, calves, arches, and hands. Try it out!

Come to hands and knees. Knees directly under your hips and your hands directly in front of your shoulders. Spread your fingers, feet hip distance and parallel to your mat. Breathe.
Exhale. Lift your knees off the floor, you will now be in a plank position. Inhale.
Exhale and bring your bottom up to the ceiling, creating a "v" with your body. Your heels are slightly lifted, head is down in a neutral position (no creases in your neck), imagine a string on your tailbone pulling straight back.
Stretch your heels toward the floor, careful not to strain too much (many people cannot touch the floor with their heels, it's okay!). Breathe.
Firm your thighs, bottom, and squeeze your shoulder bones together. Firm your hands into the floor.
 Stay here for three to four breaths (or a couple minutes). Rest in child's pose.
Play with it. Pedal your feet back and forth to stretch out your calves. Bring one leg up to the ceiling, switch. 

Three Legged Dog: a variation of Downward Dog

Adho Mukha Svanasana, or Downward Dog, is a pose that is used in the Sun Salutation. It is a great pose to use when you are tired or transitioning between poses. I like to use it as a break between difficult poses, breathing anywhere between one to three minutes.

Courtesy of: YogaJournal
Wearing: Unknown Top, Nike Pro shorts in black, Live Towards Love Crystal Yoga Bracelets,  and Manduka Mod Pro (Extra long, limited edition)

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