Friday, March 2, 2012

Yoga Pose of the Day: Downward Dog with a Twist

Friday! I like to start my Fridays doing hot power yoga. It helps ease out everything that I've put my body through all week as well as clear and ease my mind from all the week's events.

My favorite stretch I did today in my practice was the downward dog with a twist. It completely helped relieve tension in my back and I could feel every muscle in my body gaining relief, especially my calves which had endured a long week of running and plyometric training.

Downward dog w twist
To get into the pose, start in the standard downward facing dog position.

*Now some people prefer to move into the next step from this exact position. Others like to walk their hands back towards their feet, still maintaining downward dog, but only half the distance between your hands and feet as normal. This is up to you and your body.

As you exhale, reach your right arm under your torso and place your right hand on the outside of the left ankle, as far as your flexibility allows. Remember to keep your hips square to the mat. The twist is NOT in the lower back/lumbar region....this can cause low back pain, and none of us want that!

Hold this position for 2 deep breaths.

As you take your next inhale, come back into standard downward facing dog.

Repeat the twist by taking your left arm under the torso and grasping your right ankle with the left palm, holding this position for 2 deep breaths.

I hope you all enjoy this pose, the strain of the week has been eased, and you are now reinvigorated for Friday!


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