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 work on your balancing abilities.
Sanskrit Name: Tri Pada Adho Mukha Svanasana
English Translation: Three-Legged Downward Facing Dog Pose
Also Called: One-Legged Dog
- Begin in Down Dog. 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 towards your belly to help you stay balanced. To feel the stretch in your left hamstring, try to keep pressing your left heel down towards the ground.
- Stay here for five or more breaths, then lower your right leg down and switch sides.