Yoga Pose – Downward Facing Dog

Downward facing DogYoga is possibly best described as a multicultural, multilingual spiritual and physical philosophy that crosses the barriers of race and religion.

Its practitioners include Hindus, Buddhists, Jainists and Brahmins in the East and later extended to the followers of the Western religions and cultures.

The pursuit of yoga teaches and trains the body and mind to act together in harmony.

A physically fit and healthy body and a mind transcending the shallow pleasures and temptations that beset the human psyche is the ultimate aim of would be yoga masters.

These benign harmonic influences have resulted in yogism becoming an influential voice for peace and goodwill wherever it is practiced. Yoga has grown progressively more popular in the West over the years with classes on offer almost everywhere.

In the West the emphasis is more on the physical aspects of the art but as its practitioners become more involved so the spiritual benefits begin to become evident. One of the features of yoga that has helped boost its popularity is that it as easy to practice the routines at home as in a gym or class, no special equipment is necessary and it require no more space than can be found in a small apartment.

Exercise 1-The Downward Facing Dog

Keep in mind the preparation required for the first exercise, briefly do not start the exercise until about 3 hours have elapsed after a meal and drink plenty of water.

This next exercise is described as the ´downward facing dog´.

It is a stretching routine that benefits virtually all the surface muscles of the body but must be practiced with care.

Whilst it has a significant therapeutic effect on many parts of the body, do not undertake if in the last 3-4 months of pregnancy, have high blood pressure or carpal tunnel syndrome.

The following may be helpful information for those that may be unaware that they may possibly be suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome. The early stages of carpal muscle syndrome start gradually with a burning or tingling sensation or itchiness in the palm of one or both hands, the fingers and particularly the thumb with one or more symptoms often first appearing during the night.

The problem arises from the median nerve that runs from the forearm into the hand becoming under pressure at the wrist. Take care if you suffer any of these early symptoms and seek a medical opinion before attempting the ´downward facing dog´.

You will understand the reason when you read how to carry out this rejuvenating routine.

  1. Kneel with your hands on the floor just in front of your shoulders, palms spread and facing forward, knees below the hips and the toes under and forward, feet slightly apart.
  2. As you breath in begin lifting your knees and heels up.
  3. As you do so round the tail bone away from the pelvis and by pushing forward with the hands raise your bottom towards the ceiling and tuck the top of your thighs into your groin area.
  4. Exhale slowly and as you do so straighten your legs until the knees are only slightly bent at the same time bringing the heels back into contact with the floor.
  5. Tense the muscles of the thighs and press lightly inwards.
  6. Gradually straighten the arms using the fingers for leverage, and then close the shoulder blades against each other, slight pause before widening them and push them down towards your bottom.
  7. The back will then become straight or slightly concave.
  8. Keep the head between the arms but under control, do not let it hang.
  9. Inhale and hold for 1-2 minutes then bend the knees slowly to the floor back to the start position exhaling as you do so.

Controlled breathing is important in this exercise as in all yoga routines.

This exercise has a number of benefits: –

  • Strengthens arms and legs.
  • Stretches and helps to promote suppleness in important muscles.
  • Is an aid to relieving stress, mild depression and anxiety.
  • Has a beneficial effect upon the digestion and helps to prevent the onset of osteoporosis.
  • Revitalizes the body by relieving headaches, back pain, insomnia and tiredness.
  • Is considered therapeutic in cases of high blood pressure, asthma, sinusitis, flat feet, and sciatica.
  • Can provide relief for women suffering from menopausal symptoms and menstrual problems.


Category: Yoga

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Hi ! I'm Jaks and I am the writer for this site. To be completely healthy and fit you must keep your body moving and active. With exercise you can continue to be flexible even in old age. It's never too late. Learn more about this site

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