Breaking Down Downward Facing Dog Pose

Rachel Scott
Instructor Rachel Scott
Average: 5 (7 votes)
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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.


PianoWire 2 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 2 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 2 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.