Nothing feels better than a wake-up stretch with your butt high in the air, paws firmly on the ground, and your front legs lengthened out in front of you. As you breathe and loosen up, your tail might even get in on the action. For us canines, Downward Dog is a pose most commonly used post nap.
While popular among people, Downward Dog is not a natural for them. So, it’s important when teaching Downward Dog to your two-legged family members to supervise carefully.
First, direct your human to come onto all fours, making sure knees are aligned under hips, hands are shoulder-width apart with fingers lightly spread. Next, the pelvis is lifted to the ceiling with hands and heels pressed toward the ground. With attention to stretching the hips to the sky, shift the weight out of the arms and back into the hips.
The dynamic push-pull of the pose from the ground to the sky represents the union of the sun and moon, the contrast of the masculine and feminine. Wow and woof…that’s cosmic.
Next, see if your human can breathe into the pose. If she can, let her relax and enjoy it. But if she is groaning, gently help her back down to the floor and give her face a lick of encouragement. Then help her into child pose.
Downward Dog isn’t for the faint of heart!