Downward Facing Dog pose is a total body pose that's great for stretching out your shoulders, lower back, hamstrings, and calves. It can be really difficult at first, but since it's a pose that's done the most often during a class, you can build your upper body strength fast, so it becomes more of a relaxing pose. To make it more challenging, try this fun variation called Three-Legged Dog. It will open your hips and hamstrings, and work on your balancing abilities. Not to mention it's also a great strength-training move for your upper arms and shoulders.
|Sanskrit Name: Tri Pada Adho Mukha Svanasana
English Translation: Three-Legged Downward Facing Dog Pose
Also Called: One-Legged Dog
- Begin on your hands and feet in Downward Facing Dog. Then step both feet together so your big toes are touching.
- Shift weight into your hands and your left foot equally. Then raise your right leg up to the ceiling. Try to keep your shoulders parallel with the ground and gaze at your left thigh or up toward your belly to help you stay balanced. To feel the stretch in your left hamstring, keep pressing your left heel down toward the ground.
- Stay here for five breaths, then lower your right leg down and switch sides.