Downward-Facing Dog energises and rejuvenates the entire body. It deeply stretches your hamstrings, shoulders, calves, arches, hands, and spine while building strength in your arms, shoulders, and legs. Because your heart is higher than your head in this pose, it is considered a mild inversion (less strenuous than other inversions, such as Headstand) and holds all the benefits of inversions: Relief from headaches, insomnia, fatigue, and mild depression. The flow of blood to the brain also calms the nervous system, improves memory and concentration, and relieves stress.
Practising Downward Dog will warm, strengthen, and stretch the entire body. You can use it as a transitional pose (between other poses), or as a full-body stretch on its own. Try a few rounds of Downward Dog during your day to increase blood flow and energy while calming your mind! You may find the benefits extend to all areas of your life, even off the mat.
Do not practice Downward-Facing Dog if you have severe carpal tunnel syndrome or are in late-term pregnancy. It should also be avoided by those with injury to the back, arms, or shoulders; and by those with high blood pressure, eye or inner ear infections. Always work within your own range of limits and abilities. If you have any medical concerns, talk with your doctor before practising yoga.
Get in touch if you are interested in trying yoga or wish to improve your postures and alignment.