The downward dog is a great resting position that you come back to many times through out your practice, so its important to get the foundations of it correct so it actually feels like a resting position.
- Hands at shoulder width and feet at hip width
- Spread your fingers wide like a tree frog, gripping on to the mat
- Externally rotate your shoulders (imagine the action of externally opening two jam jars with your hands)
- Lift up through the belly switching on your core
- Lift your sit bones (hips) towards the ceiling, pulling your stomach in and lowering your chest down
- Keeping your knees bent at the start until the legs warm up then lightly push the heels down to the floor, stretching out the back of the legs
- Keep a micro bend in the knees to protect the knee joint and make sure you relax you neck
- Deep inhales in and out through the nose until your body softens into the pose
- Strengthens your wrists and Achilles tendons
- Has a lengthening effect on your shoulders and spine
- Has a rejuvenating effect on your nervous system
Sammy Veall owns and runs Yoga 213 with studios in Bondi Junction, Sydney and South Yarra, Melbourne.
Photography by Deanna Geralch