We looked at Downward Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Shvanasana) in the Introduction to Yoga Part 1. If you need a refresher of the benefits, alignment or contraindications for this pose you can find it here.
Today we are going to start playing and exploring movement in the pose.
We begin in Extended Child's Pose.
Keeping your hands in this position, tuck the toes and lift into downward dog.
Start exploring movement by bending your knees, one after the other. I call this "walking the dog" and always do this when I first enter the pose. Experiment with how deep you bend your knees, warming up the hamstrings and finding a nice stretch in your hips.
Now try bending both knees together. Lift the heels off the mat and stretch the feet. Draw the knees into the chest to deepen the stretch. Press the chest to the knees and stretch through the armpits.
Play with movement in this pose for as long as you like. Experiment with pace, slowing the movement right down for deep juicy stretches, or moving more quickly if you are already warmed up and want to energise the pose.
Get to know your body and find what feels good for you.
You can find a short video of my Downward Facing Dog here.