One of the first poses we broke down in Yoga Teacher Training was downward facing dog. It was the very first day: go around the circle, introduce yourself, welcome, now everyone get in downward facing dog.
Downward facing dog is one of those very basic poses that in a vinyasa style class you come back to over and over again, and if your body is in right alignment the pose it feels great!
And as a yoga instructor I can tell when it doesn’t feel great. It’s not just that the alignment is off, it’s that there is no ease to it. And unless you are holding downward dog for extended periods of time or alternating between downward dog and plank to build heat and strength, my personal view is that there should be an ease to it.
So let’s get right into it!
1- Arms: starting in table top, set yourself up so that your pointer fingers are parallel (hands might be slightly turned out), your finger tips are gripping the map and the inside of your elbows are turned out.
2- Hips: from here press the mat away from you with your hands and reach your hips to the ceiling, creating an A-shape with your body.
3- Legs: your knees will have a slight micro-bend and your heels should be reaching toward the back of the room; if your body alignment allows for it, try for your heels touching the mat.
Deep inhale, long slow exhale. Downward facing dog!