Yoga Exploration: Sun Salutation A:VINYASA SIX – Downward Facing Dog
(Adho Mukha Shvanasana) – as we exhale

Principles of Pose – Jules
(from upwardfacing dog / urdhva mukha shvanasana)

alignment: hands shoulder width apart, feet hip width apart from upward facing dog

  • engage your navel to draw strength and begin lifting the hips up
  • firmly press hands into the floor as you roll toes over onto soles of feet facing the floor
  • raise the hips sending sitting bones towards ceiling, tail bones downward
  • gradually work to straightening the legs – think, lengthening of hamstrings
  • push the floor away from you to shift more weight toward the feet
  • externally rotate upper arms, broadening collarbones and shoulders lifted, let the head hang
  • contract tops of thighs pressing them back and rotate the thighs inward
  • draw the heels of feet toward or onto floor

Trauma Perspective – Elyse

Downward facing dog is a great asana to encourage students to make a connection with the ground/mat below them. Encourage students to draw their heels toward the ground/mat and pressing hands into the ground/mat encouraging triad connection. Downward facing dog is an extension and expansion. An emotional assist, i.e. Words of encouragement is ideal.