Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Downward Dog

Downward Dog is one of the best stretches EVER! Whether or not you practice yoga you can certainly benefit from this pose.

It opens up the shoulders, really tones the triceps, lengthens the spine, and stretches the hamstrings and calves. It strengthens the upper body and stretches the lower body.
Here is a great pic of my 2 girls practicing downward dog. See - even my 1 year old can do it!

To get the most out of the pose you want to fully extend your upper body, spreading your fingers wide for a stable base. Make sure your lower back is not rounded - this is very important. Bend your knees and lift your tail bone high, and then straighten your legs to your degree - before your low back rounds. It is more important to have a straight spine than straight legs. Press your heels towards the ground relaxing your feet.  Your heels may never touch the ground, but you want to be rooted, getting the full benefit of the stretch down the legs.
Downward dog looks a lot easier than it is. Try to hold it anywhere from 1-3 minutes and see how it feels. It is truly great for your body.

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