Also known as Adho Mukha Svanasana. This poses clears stiffness in your shoulders; lengthens and straightens your legs; helps to create arches in your feet and strengthen your ankles.
This exercise encourages full body circulation and is a great stretch for calves and heels.
Step by step guide
- Come onto your hands and knees, with your hands shoulder-width apart and your knees hip-width apart.
- Press the inner triads of both hands firmly into the mat.
- Turn the eyes of your elbows toward each other and align your shoulders over your wrists.
- Your knees should be behind your sitting bones to maximize length in your torso and spine when you move into Down Dog.
- For a few breaths, arch and round your spine, simultaneously moving your head and tail like you did in Cat-Cow Pose.
- From a Cat tilt, curl your toes under.
- On an exhalation, slowly lift your knees off the floor, bringing them in line with your ankles.
- Keep your knees bent and stretch your arms intensely to lengthen your torso.
- Press the mat away from you and open your upper, or armpit, chest.
- Lift your sitting bones to tilt the top of your pelvis forward and maintain the natural curves of your spine.
- Slowly straighten both legs and walk your feet forward a little.
- Make sure your lower back doesn’t round and that you can still maintain the lift of your sitting bones and the curves of your spine.
- Extend your arms fully and keep your lower ribs moving toward your spine to avoid low-back overarching and compression.
- Descend your heels even more as you engage your quadriceps.
- Stay for 20–25 breaths before coming down to rest.