(AH-doh MOO-kah shvah-NAHS-anna)
adho = downward
mukha = face
Ahh – good ‘ol down dog. The nemesis of all new yogis, and a constant work in progress even for those who have been practicing for decades! From day to day the way we feel about this pose is bound to change, but today we’re hoping we can add a little more love to your DD. After all, it’s definitely here to stay!
Start from all fours (on your hands and knees). Set your base with your hands shoulder width apart (or slightly wider) with your middle finger pointing forward with your fingers spread wide.
Firm your hands into the mat, pressing through the outer edges of the palm and the finger tips – like clawing into the ground to create a little suction cup of air in the middle of your palm (Hasta Bandha). Keep your upper arms and shoulders rotated outwards while your forearms rotate in.
Inhale, tuck your toes under (your feet are hip distance apart).
Exhale and engage your lower belly drawing the navel back to the spine. Press the floor away from you, lift your hips back and up to push yourself back into an upside-down V pose.
Keep your knees bent to lengthen the spine, taking the hips up and away from you.
If possible straighten the legs, while maintaining the length in the spine. Taking the top of the thighs and knees back.
Press your upper arms towards each other and allow your shoulder blades to move down your spine.
Stay for 3-8 breaths. Exhale and release knees back down to the floor.
To Perfect this Pose
We love our props here at Stretch! If your shoulders are tight, try placing your hands on blocks to help lift up out of the shoulders and bring more energy to the legs. You can also try practicing your shoulder alignment using the wall first – take your time to feel into drawing your shoulder blades down your back and together without the strength component!
If your shoulders are extra tight, you can try turning the fingers out slightly and making them a little wider. A strap wrapped just above your elbows can also help to make that outward rotation a little easier!
For tight hamstrings, always think length through the spine first. Bend your knees until your spine stops rounding and allow your heels to be lifted off the floor – pedal the feet slowly when you’re in this pose to help the backs of your legs open up!
Most important of all? Practice, practice, practice! Play around with different techniques, listen to your teachers tips and keep doing this pose as often as possible. We promise it gets easier!