Breaking Down Downward Facing Dog Pose

Rachel Scott
Instructor Rachel Scott
5
Average: 5 (9 votes)
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Duration:
6
:
49

Join Rachel in this tutorial as she breaks down and illuminates the key actions needed to set up and practice downward facing dog safely and effectively. 

To continue learning, check out our 250-Hour Yoga Teacher Training Program, specifically Rachel's 5-hour course, Principles of Teaching.

Comments

GlassBeach 3 weeks ago

The lengthening of spine changes this pose for me. Otherwise my chest drops down. The lengthening has me tuck in the bottom rib a bit and wow, new pose. It’s clicked. As well as the sit bones energetically to my heels slightly and the entire pelvis reaches away from ribs, ribs away from hands.
I love the lifting of palm and with my curled in hands, it’s always a challenge to get the weight under thumb and forefinger. What helps me is I place my palms down and then slide them out a tiny bit, like dragging the skin of my hand from my pinky to my thumb. That transfers the weight to thumb and forefinger. Then I’ll go up my arm and wrap my outer arms out and down. Much gratitude. I want to see more free vids from you, please!

PianoWire 5 months ago

Thank you for pointing out that downward facing dog isn't a resting pose, at least for beginners. (I find plank much, much easier to hold.)

Your pointers on hand positioning were very helpful for my tight shoulders.

My hamstrings prevent me from straightening my legs even halfway in this pose. The "straightest" I can get is a 60-degree bend in my knees. (Staff pose, inverted L, and the like are also well beyond my range of motion.) Any suggestions or adaptations for downward facing dog?

David Procyshyn 5 months ago

No, just do downward dog as you are, while applying enough effort to create the stretch and encouraging those poor, tight hamstrings to release by relaxing them. It can be hard, but it's so worth it to spend time releasing them!

kateconn 5 months ago

Really helpful pointers! Thanks! This pose is often challenging for me because my arm strength is not great. I'll keep these pointers in mind.