Downward Facing Dog sets a strong tone for the sequence:
- Begin on your hands and knees. Your wrists should be underneath your shoulders, and your knees should be underneath your hips.
- Inhale as you tuck your toes under your heels. Then exhale to lift your hips, coming into an upside-down "V" shape called Downward Facing Dog.
- Spread your fingers wide and create a straight line between your middle fingers and elbows. Work on straightening your legs and lowering your heels toward the ground. Relax your head between your arms and direct your gaze through your legs or up toward your belly button. Hold for five breaths.
- Traditionally this pose is done during Sun Salutation A, so you can also come into it from Upward Facing Dog.
Not sure you're doing it correctly? Here's what not to do in Downward Facing Dog.
Photo: Jenny Sugar