DOWNWARD FACING DOG
To get out of position, bend your knees and place them on the ground.
Benefits • Energizes the body and relaxes the mind • Strengthens the arms and shoulders and the feet, ankles, thighs, abs and back • Stretches the hamstrings and back muscles • Stretches, tones and lengthens the spine • May help relieve headaches (when supporting the head with a block or pad), insomnia, back pain
Precautions and contra-indications • Carpal tunnel syndrome • Uncontrolled hypertension, detached retina, glaucoma, or other infection or inflammation of the eyes. • recent or chronic injury or inflammation of the back, legs, ankles, knees, hips, wrists, arms or shoulders.
Many people new to yoga find this position uncomfortable to hold for a long time mainly because they lack openness and strength in the back, arms and legs. It must be said that this position is not easy in the beginning !!! If this is the case for you, start with the puppy (similar to the dog except that the knees are on the floor). To prepare the body to the position of the downward facing dog, the practice of cat-cow, the plank and the (half) standing forward fold and working on mobility and opening the shoulders can help develop the strength and openness needed.