Yoga’s full-body workout: Downward facing dog

Yoga is not only a centuries old mind-body exercise and discipline, but it is now respected among modern science as a wellness booster.

It’s known to help with depression, decrease stress and improve sleep and boost immunity.

One of the most popular poses is Downward Facing Dog. This one amazing yoga pose is practically a full-body workout that helps strengthen your arms, shoulders, core and legs, while also stretching the spine.

But some people may have a hard time with the pose at first.

In today’s video, Wendy Krauss Talis and Kellie Bach will share with you how to partner on Yoga’s Downward Facing Dog pose, with some adjustments.Wendy instructs us on three amazing variations for those who need more time to get into the full pose. Let’s have a look.

Assuming the Downward Facing Dog Pose

Begin by going down onto all fours, balancing on your palms and the balls of your feet. You can rest on the flats of your feet if you are able, and they should be at least shoulder’s width apart.

Make sure your fingers are spread wide for good support and that your hands re parallel and at least shoulder’s width apart.

Your head should be down and your butt raised up I a pike position.

1st Posture adjustment

For the first adjustment, straddle your partner from behind and hold her waists with your forearms. With fingers laced you will squeeze your forearms against the hip and pull them upward toward you.

This will allow your partner to feel, through experience, that more weight should be in the legs than in the arms.

2nd Posture adjustment

Kellie mentions that she has tight hamstrings, which can make this posture difficult. Wendy suggests she adjust her posture by softening her knees; that is, bending them slightly to relieve the tension in the hamstrings.

You can then bend your knees a bit more, raise the hips higher, and move your chest in toward your thighs.

Relax and stretch

Take a rest and relax the body by sitting onto your knees, your butt on your heels, and your chest toward the floor.

Reach your hands forward to stretch the shoulders.

3rd Posture variation

Get on all fours and place your forehead down between your hands, which make a triangle.

From here raise up off your knees into a modified Downward Facing Dog.

Again, your partner can stand behind you and pull your hips up and back to help elongate the spine and shift the center of gravity. You can also pull the thighs up or stand in front and push the lower back up.

Relax and stretch

Take a rest and relax the body by sitting onto your knees, your butt on your heels, and your chest toward the floor.

Reach your hands forward to stretch the shoulders.

Dr. Mark Wiley

By Dr. Mark Wiley

Dr. Mark Wiley is an internationally renowned mind-body health practitioner, author, motivational speaker and teacher. He holds doctorates in both Oriental and alternative medicine, has done research in eight countries and has developed a model of health and wellness grounded in a self-directed, self-cure approach. Dr. Wiley has written 14 books and more than 500 articles. He serves on the Health Advisory Boards of several wellness centers and associations while focusing his attention on helping people achieve healthy and balanced lives through his work with Easy Health Options® and his company, Tambuli Media.