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The one pose to do every day | Sarah Studebaker, Yoga Instructor & Health Coach

The one pose to do every day

IMG_36261Sometimes time is just not my friend.  I never can seem to get all the way through my to do list and would always love to have more time for my home yoga practice.  Over the years, I’ve learned that the old adage ‘quality over quantity’ could not be more fitting for practicing yoga at home.  On days when I can’t even seem to find time for just a few sun salutations, I just make sure that I get one pose in.  One very important pose.  That one pose is…. downward dog.

You’ve probably done downward dog before, maybe hundreds of times, but it’s a great one to keep coming back to.  To have one pose that stretches your back, the back of your legs, relaxes your neck, and gives you the benefits of inverting your heart over your head (energizing, improves circulation, etc) is pretty priceless.  Need more reasons to practice this pose?  Check out Self.com’s article ‘Get 6 amazing benefits from practicing downward dog.’  Doing downward dog and only downward dog definitely falls in line with my ‘quality over quantity’ mantra.  Taking 10 slow, deep breaths in the pose always feels great.  Try it the next time you find yourself pressed for time.

Are you a bit of a yoga newbie?  Here are tips for making sure you’re actually doing downward dog-

  • Try to make your body into the shape of an upside down letter ‘V’
  • With your hands shoulder width apart, spread your fingers wide and make big hand prints on your mat
  • With your feet hip width apart, drop your heels towards the floor (knees can be a little bent)
  • Feel like you’re moving your chest towards your thighs as you press your hips back

Getting bored of downward dog?  Here are a few ways to advance your practice and make it a little more challenging-

  •  Turn your elbow creases forward without moving your hands
  • Move your shoulders away from your ears
  • Work towards getting your knees straight and heels on the ground (me and my tight hamstrings took years to do this)

 

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