Start the Day With Downward Facing Dog

Get in touch with your inner animal with Downward Facing Dog.


My time last week at the Green Yoga Conference inspired me to reconnect with the environment. Many yoga postures are meant to embody different animals and help us remember our connection to nature. In the next few weeks, I'll share several simple postures to celebrate the natural world. You may already know many of them, but this time when you practice them, get in touch with your inner animal before you focus on whether you're toning your tummy or trimming your thighs. Focus on the posture's vibe—yogis call this bhvar. This week, work on the Downward Facing Dog pose. Try to envision yourself as a slightly sleepy pup, just up from a nap; it'll help you really feel energized by this stretch. By channeling your thoughts in this manner, you'll have a completely different experience with this everyday pose.





Begin on your hands and knees with your hands shoulder-width and parallel fingers pointing forward. Keeping your arms very straight, curl your toes under and lift your hips up and back away from your hands, creating one straight line between your wrists, shoulders, and sit bones. Allow your head to relax. Begin to press your heels into the floor. Dont worry if they dont make it—the act of trying to press them down strengthens the legs and pulls the weight of your body back. If you need to keep a slight bend in your knees for your lower back, that's fine—just keep lengthening the spine. Take some long, deep breaths and get into the feeling of being a dog!
Sara Ivanhoe
Last Updated: June 08, 2009

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