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Posted on 2 August, 2017 in Fitness & Wellbeing

Yoga Tip – Downward Facing Dog

By Binns Rebecca

Looking to begin Yoga or want to learn more about certain poses? Jacinta from Mingara One Fitness guides you through a few Yoga favourites.

Downward facing dog 2 positions

1. Child’s Pose

Jacinta often starts her classes in this way.

It is a great way to start your practice in this position. It helps to ground you and clear your mind ready for your practice (class).

 

How to:

  • Kneel down bring your big toes together so they touch.
  • Take your knees wide and sink your hips back towards your heels.
  • Arms are extended forward on the ground or the mat as far forward as you can – the best bit – rest your head gently on the mat and enjoy the opportunity to connect to your breath.

You may find this used throughout a class as a rest position to enable you to catch your breath and become recentred.

You should feel a stretch through the hips, thighs and ankles – calm your body and mind.

Child’s Pose is a great stress reliever.

It may also offer you some relief from back and neck pain.

2. Downward Facing Dog

Why the downward dog?

Calm the mind – relieve stresses and increase the energy in your body all in the one move! Your shoulders, hamstrings and calves will enjoy this stretch too. Your arms and legs will help be strengthened.

It is a common pose in any form of yoga class – and is one of the traditional poses in the sun salutation sequence.

How to:

  • Come down carefully to your hands and knees on the floor. Your knees should be directly underneath your hips (as though crawling around on the floor!). Your hands should be palm down to the floor just in front of your shoulders. Keep your fingers apart – as this helps with stability. Don’t forget to turn your toes under.
  • Breathe out through the nose and lift your knees up off the floor. Press your tailbone towards the ceiling.
  • Make a capital A with your body.
  • Hands should be pressed knowingly /actively into the floor and draw your shoulder blades back and down.
  • Don’t hang your head in doggy shame! Keep your head between your arms.
    Note: Beginners – it will be unlikely that you can have your heels flat on the floor – you may need to bend your knees or lift your heels off the floor!

Big no – nos

  • Don’t round out your spine – the aim is an A shape.
  • Have high blood pressure, are you pregnant? Please do not attempt the Downward Facing Dog.
  • Even though you may need to lift your heels make sure they are relaxed downwards. You won’t feel this as a relaxed position unless you exhale your heels towards the floor.

Join a class

Mingara One Fitness offers a range of Yoga classes; Hot Yoga, One Gentle Yoga and One Yoga. Make sure you give the trainer a wave if it is your first class to let them know it is your first time and you can always catch up with a trainer after class or even on the gym floor for tips, pointers and advice.

Check out the class timetable here.

 

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