Downward dog is the backbone of most yoga practices. It offers a chance to recover from more strenuous poses in the form of a full body stretch.
What it is: Our version of this pose uses a table or desk and can be done in a crowded classroom.
Why we love it: Downward dog is a great pose to help energize your class. It can help students awaken their minds and apply greater focus to the lesson or task before them.
How to do it:
Stand tall facing your desk.
Breathe in, place both hands flat on a table or desk. Stand with your feet hip-width apart and toes forward.
Breathe out, fold forward so your head almost touches the edge of the desk. This is Downward Dog.
Let your hands slide away from you so your arms are stretched out. Then press your hands down flat, with fingers spread wide.
Keep your feet where they are and bend your knees, to tip your hips up and back.
Stay here for three more deep breaths.
Breathe in slowly and evenly. Breathe out slowly and evenly, too. Two more breaths.
Breathe in. Notice if you have a stretch in your back and spine. Breathe out.
Breathe in. Notice if you have a stretch in your arms and legs. Breathe out.
Breathe in. Slide your hands closer to you and slowly stand tall. Breathe out.
Place one hand on your heart and one hand on your belly. Notice your heartbeat and notice your breath.
Downward Dog can help you focus and wake up your mind and your muscles.
Downward dog helps to stretch and strengthen your whole body – arms, back, torso and legs. It energizes the body and helps calm the brain and may relieve symptoms of anxiety and depression.
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