Body Love Yoga – Downward Dog

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Rose Pelosi practicing her Adho Mukha Svanasana with Oso.

Adho Mukha Svanasana, Downward Facing Dog: an Inversion

by Rose Pelosi

• Come to your foundation, the hands. Notice how your weight is being distributed. Get heavy through your thumbs. Work to seal your palms to the earth by pressing into the base of every knuckle. Keep this and then claw the mat gently with your finger tips to activate the muscles of the wrists.

• Firm your forearms towards one another.

• From this foundation, move your awareness into the upper arms and shoulders. Rather than drawing your shoulder blades onto your back, imagine them wrapping around your side body creating more space around the ears and across the chest. Think triceps down, biceps up. This will stimulate the medial shoulder muscles needed for more intense inversion practices, strengthening each time you return to this shape.

• Relax the traps, the muscles that creep up around the ears. Make more space.

• Draw your belly up and in, lower ribs down. Make your core effort even stronger! So much so you lighten the weight in the hands!

• Press your thigh bones back and just when you think you’re set, shift your hips back and sink your heels even more. Send your tailbone higher as you lengthen through every vertebrae.

• Rather than just settling here, tune in to every inch of yourself to activate even the smallest parts of your body. Feel a sense of full participation. A pose we are continuously returning to, take the opportunity to deepen your awareness the next time you push back into Downward Facing Dog.

You deserve to move forward in your practice!

Tune up your yoga practice with helpful tips from Venice-based yoga teacher Rose Pelosi. Pelosi teaches private lessons both inside, and at the beach. For inspiration and contact info, follow her on Instagram @bodyloveyoga.

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