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.