The downward dog as an entry into the world of movement

The downward dog (DD) may be perhaps the most overlooked pose in yoga due to its simplicity. However, its application extends far past the yoga studio. The problem is that most people look at a movement and associate it with a specific activity. This is wrong. Activities are subcategories of movement. When we change our perspective regarding this issue, we begin to more effectively execute actions because we view movement as a whole and not divided. Leaving that association out seems to increase reaction time. It may also produce a more appropriate physical reaction to a random stimuli (due to neurological reprogramming perhaps?). There are elements of neurology involved but I need to do more research in that area. It seems to work though. Try it.

 

The DD is important to develop for all levels of movement because it is the best position for developing all four points of contact (hands and feet). Here is a list of benefits provided by this humble yoga pose:

 

Increased tactile sensation in the palms and fingers (over time of course)

Strong and healthy open shoulders

Increased perception of weight distribution between the hands and feet

When the head is tucked the neck can be effectively stretched

Increased tendon and joint strength

Increase in pelvic/lumbar stability and strength

 

 

These are carryovers that positively impact your life, not just your yoga.

 

Ditch the couch at night and sit on the floor. Practice resting in this position for 10-20 minutes a day for 30 seconds to 1 minute at a time. Stretch in all of your free-time. It adds up and your recovery from exercise will thank you. Movement is part of your life. Cultivate it.

 

Ruptured distal bicep? No problem….keep moving.

 

Photo on 2013-06-10 at 09.59

Posted in Fitness / Movement
Anton says:

Do you ever get up on your toes in this pose? When I try it, it feels natural to do that for some reason.

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