Happy Monday morning everyone and welcome to yet another installment of our Mindful Monday journey here at Illuminate By U. As always please be sure to consult your doctor before beginning this or any other exercise regiment.
This Monday’s asana is a yoga foundational must-have pose: downward facing dog. (The photo above gives you a bit of a modification for those of you who have tighters legs) Downward facing dog is a great asana to use as a traditional point as you expand your practice and begin to focus on flowing one pose into another.
Please note this pose should be avoid if you have carpal tunnel, injuries to the back, arms, or shoulders, or are in late-term pregnancy. As stated above, please be sure to consult a medical professional prior to practicing yoga or beginning any other exercise regiment.
Begin on your hands and knees. Hands shoulder length apart and knees hip length apart, keeping your middle finger pointed directly towards the top of your mat. Spread your fingers wide and press firmly through the palms and knuckles so your weight is evenly distributed across your hands and not placed in your wrist.
Exhalf and lift your knees off the floor and tuck yours toes. Move to reach your pelvis up towards the sky while also drawing your sit bones toward the space behind you. Gently begin to straighten your legs until a comfortable position and create an ‘A’ shape with your body. Continue to push the ground away from you and lifting through your pelvis, lengthing the spine, and working your site bones towards the sky.
Rotate your arms externally so that the creases of your elbow face the side of your face and align your ears with your upper arms. Relax your neck but do not drop your head/gaze. Hold for 5 or more deep breaths, exhaling and gently bringing your knees back to the ground to release.
Practicing downward dog with lengthen and strengthen your entire physical body. A few down dogs a day will increase your blood flow and energy wile calming your mind. This asana is intended to energize and rejuventate the body and mind, while being considered a mild-inversion posture it also helps relieve headaches, insomnia, and mild depression. The increased blood flow to the mind helps improve the nervous system and improves your ability to concentrate.