Even if you’ve never tried yoga before, chances are you’ve heard of the “Downward Dog.”
The Downward Dog is the anchoring posture of many yoga practices in the U.S. So, what’s all the hype about? Actually, there’s real benefits to this pose. Besides being a pose you can do every day in the comfort of your own home, it has many health benefits.
Whether you’re an everyday yogi or not, here 6 reason why this pose alone is worth adding to your everyday routine.
- It builds bone density. The Downward Dog places weight on the arms and shoulders are great for building upper body strength and preserving bone density.
- It wakes you up. It’s one of the best poses you can do when you’re fatigued. It works well for all of us who are just tired from the stress of everyday life.
- It eliminates stiffness and back pain. It’s good if you get pain in your shoulders and upper back. Practicing it can make your upper back more flexible and less likely to store so much tension.
- It boosts circulation. Any pose where the heart is above the head is a good one for the circulatory system, because it encourages blood flow throughout the body. An active circulatory system helps flush toxins from our body, keep our immune system in tip-top shape, and helps regulate blood pressure.
- It can be easily modified. If the posture’s not comfortable for you, you can always drop down into Dolphin Pose, with elbows on the ground, to get many of the same benefits.
- It’s a good check in with your body. It’s a good way to “take inventory” about how you’re feeling. It stretches your arms, legs and back all at once, and you can take notice of what feels good and what you need to work on.
Try working your way up to at least a minute to bring back lost energy. To make sure you’re doing Downward Dog correctly, engage through your core and drawing up through your quads–without hyperextending your knees–while reaching up and back with your hips and then down toward the earth with your heels.
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