Day 4 Yoga Pose: Downward Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana)
Start on all fours with your hands directly under your shoulders and your knees bent at a 90 degree angle. Then, move your hands about one hand length forward. The goal is to have a 90 degree angle when you are up in the pose. Make sure your fingers are spread wide and press firmly into the ground. Tilt your tailbone and sitbone toward the ceiling. Press your lower abdominal muscles up and back. Push your hips strongly up and back, bringing your body into an upside-down "V" at a 90 degree angle. Slightly bend your knees at first if you cannot straighten. Use your arms as little as possible. Push up and back with your abdominal muscles and lower back. Use the heels of your hands to press into the ground. Remain in pose for one minute and the build to two or more.
What are the benefits of the downward facing dog pose?
- It strengthens muscles in your arms, shoulders, sides, chest and upper back.
- It strengthens muscles in your ankles, calves, thighs and lower back.
- It improves digestion.
- It alleviates symptoms of menopause and menstrual discomfort.
- It can alleviate anxiety, mild depression and stress.
- It can make you feel more energized when you are tired.