Yoga fact: Downward Facing Dog isn’t always wonderful for your shoulders, hamstrings and low back.
Yep. It’s 100% true.
Sometimes, this “rest” pose can aggravate rather than alleviate.
The yoga trick is to add in some adjustments to your downdog. These adjustments can be a little challenging (to change things up in your current practice) and/or they can be used to alleviate extra tension in the body.
How you use it is up to you.
That, my friends, is one of my FAVORITE things about yoga!
Remember the ultimate goal of Downdog is for the pose to feel like a little rest in the midst of your Vinyasa practice. It’s a pause, a place to catch the breath and get connected back to yourself.
Forcing your heals to drop adds a lot of stress & tension in the low back which is the opposite of the effect we want in Downdog.
Letting the head hang through and allowing the armpits to collapse downward adds extra tension in the elbows (yikes) and shoulders AND can even muck up your rotator cuff.
So, here are some adjustments that are easy to implement.
This video assumes that you ALREADY practice downdog on a pretty regular basis or are somewhat new to it and want to facilitate a little ease in the pose.
If you are new to it, as in brand spankin’ and have never heard the phrase used before, please go find a yoga teacher to help get you started or check out my Yoga for Beginners Online Series: http://yogatraining.4theloveofyoga.com/courses/yoga-for-beginners/