Circling Three-Legged Down Dog
Benefits: Opens hips and hamstrings; increases circulation in legs, ankles, and feet.
- Begin in Downward Facing Dog with equal weight on the hands and feet. Flare the heels slightly wider than the toes so the outside edges of the feet are parallel with the outside edges of your mat. Spread the fingers wide, and press into the palms to push the hips away from you. Work on lowering the heels to the floor without rounding the spine. Relax the shoulders and head, and gaze at your navel as you breathe for five breaths.
- Inhale to step both feet together and raise the right leg into the air, holding Three-Legged Dog for five breaths. Circle the right foot in both directions, and point and flex the foot to loosen up the ankle joint.
- Take a breath in, and as you exhale, slowly lower the right foot toward the floor beside your left foot, but before it touches the ground, swing it back up to the right, making a circle and coming back to Three-Legged Dog.
- Repeat, circling the leg for a few breaths in this direction, and then switch the direction of your circles for another few breaths.
- Lower the right leg back to the floor. Hold here for one complete breath, and then raise the left leg into the air, repeating on this side.