Why downward facing dog is one of my FAVORITE poses/stretches

WHY I LOVE IT:

Downward facing dog stretches the calves, hamstrings, shoulders, arms… from toes to fingertips, this pose does it all. AND, there is so much you can do with it.

While there is value in holding the pose (deep stretch! endurance!), I love continuously moving in this pose—bending my knees, sometimes both at the same time, or peddling the heels back one at a time, sometimes going into a side stretch when I’m peddling each heel back… coming up onto my toes for a moment… dropping the forearms down to dolphin for a bit… dropping onto my forearms for dolphin pose… rolling into plank pose, then back into downward facing dog… there’s a LOT you can do here.

Outside of sun salutations, I love spending a few moments in downward facing dog before and/or after running. Try it out before or after your next workout.

Play around with this pose. I will say, I didn’t always like it as much as I do now, but I love it now. So play with it, keep moving and adjusting, and keep breathing.

TIPS:

Make sure you are “pawing” the mat/ground, distributing the weight through all the fingers to protect the wrists. Play around with this and find that feels good to you.

Start with your knees bent then work your heels toward the ground for a deeper lower body stretch.

Bend the knees for a deeper stretch through the shoulders.

Bend knees, tip pelvis forward, and straighten knees to go deeper into pose.

If you are pregnant, make sure there is enough room between your legs for your belly. (This goes for all forward folds as well).