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Colleen Dix January 30, 2016 No Comments

Downward blob… No Downward Dog!! Adho Mukha Svanasana- Downward facing dog Alignment

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By Maggie Billingsley, Hatha Yoga instructor at Soul Studio.

How to rock your downward dog in 10 easy steps:

  1. Hands shoulder distance apart
  2. Feet are hip width distance apart. Feet and hands should be as far apart on the floor as they would be in your plank pose.
  3. Press through the index finger mounds with active hands to activate the muscles of your arms and shoulders
  4. Rotate your upper arms externally to move your shoulders down and create space around your ears.
  5. Lengthen neck towards hands at the same angle as your spine.
  6. Draw your shoulder blades towards your tailbone and feel a broadening across your upper back.
  7. Engage your lower abdominal muscles
  8. Bend into your knees and send your tailbone up towards the ceiling.
  9. Rotate your inner thighs inward (makes it much easier to take the tailbone up!)
  10. Gently straighten your legs and press the heels downward, hold the same form in the spine and pelvis. Bonus- Breathe and relax!

Common Misalignments:

  1. Foundation (ie hand and feet placement)- too short (hands and feet too close together) or too long (hands and feet too far apart).
  2. Spine is rounded causing the weight to be in the shoulders.
  3. Shoulders are in hyper flexion causing the students ribs to be caving in towards the floor. Spine should be in neutral alignment.

Practice makes perfect, yogi friends! See future blog posts with other positions and proper alignment!

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