Downward Dog

The Downward Dog is one of the main poses practiced in yoga. It develops both strength and flexibility. When first starting, you may only be able to hold it for a few breaths, but try to increase that over time. It may look simple, but a lot is happening. This pose is both a forward bend and an inversion. Without kicking up into a handstand, the Downward Dog is a great introduction to the benefits of inversions.

1. Starting from the Table pose, move your arms forward about the length of one hand. Your hands should be shouder-width apart, fingers spread. Externally rotate y0043our upper arms. With your feet hip-width apart, tuck your toes under. Press into your hands and feet as you begin to straighten your legs.

2. Continue to straighten your legs (your heels do not have to touch the mat).
3. With your feet parallel, activate the muscles in your legs, and lift and spread your buttocks bones.
4. Energize your arms and stretch from your armpits to your hips. On your next exhalation, lower your knees to the floor.

• If you have a heart condition, refrain from performing this movement.
Things to think about

• Stretch from your hands to your hips, to create length in your spine.


If the back of your legs are tight, lift your heels away from the floor.