Namaste Day


Happy Namaste Day, yall!! Let’s dive right in!



So What’s This All About?

Yoga has been essential to me in maintaining my healthy balance. It allows me to check in on my mind and my body. Yoga is a time to meet with myself on the mat. To be alone and to be grateful. Yoga is a dual force transitional treatment. It allows me to be present and check in on my physical and mental states. How are I am feeling today? Am I excited? Anxious? Sleepy? Does my back or your knee hurt? I meet with myself on the mat and my body commences to tell me all of the answers I need. From there I simply listen to my body and as I was taught, I “find what feels good”.

I’m sure no two yoga experiences are the same, but, practicing yoga is a personal experience of growth. You grow your strength, your balance, your flexibility and your mind. But don’t let me continue to try to sell it to you. When I speak to others about yoga, there are often misconceptions about the exercise or complete lack of knowledge. But if you know me, you know that I love knowledge! Knowledge is my favorite! Namaste Day is a prime opportunity to exchange knowledge!

I’m not a yoga expert. I’m not even an instructor. I’m simply a soul whose soul enjoys her some yoga! So in light of our theme of education, Namaste Day will provide you with snippets of knowledge about practicing yoga.

Our first bite of yoga knowledge begins with a pose:

The Downward Dog

I feel like this one of the most famous if not the most famous yoga pose of all. I’m sure everyone learns this pose in their beginner class or soon after. But for those who have never done a downward dog, here’s some information about what it is, why you should practice it, and how to properly execute this pose.

So, first thing’s first . . .


Mmmmm…. Looks delicious right? I know, I know . . .however, there’s a few things you should pay attention to when attempting this yummy little pose.




This figure breaks down the specifics of the correct way to execute a downward dog pose. From the feet to the head here’s a few takeaways that I tend to keep in mind:


1. Your heels don’t have to touch the ground. I’m pretty sure mine still don’t. Somedays are better than others, but don’t force it. Breath and you’ll feel it. Yoga can be dangerous if you try to force things. That’s one reason I love it so much! You are forced to “flow”.


2. “Soft knees” – It’s also okay if you’re needs are bent. I often “pedal it out” in this pose (Compliments of “Yoga w/ Adrienne, but we’ll talk more about her later! J ) Knees are finicky little things. Be kind to them.


3. “Untuck the Tail” – I’m still not sure what “untuck the tail” means, but you should do it if you understand! You’ll feel a nice stretch in your hamstrings here. Use your pelvis like a door hinge. If you were to walk your hand toward your feet, your pelvic will be the hinge that closes the open door. (Forgive me if you don’t understand my metaphors.)


4. Pull your lower ribs down toward your bellybutton. Yes, it’s possible. Start by imagining doing this motion and then. . .Violia! . . .You’ll get there.


5. Keep your shoulders down and biceps spiraled out.


6. F.Y.I. I’ve never tried this block hack shown above, however, I have one yoga block and it tends to be helpful in a lot of interesting ways. If you need it, give it a try!

Here’s a view from the front. . .notice the externally rotating shoulders.



Now that we know how to perform the down facing dog. Here’s a few tidbits on why we do it:


Downward dog feels wonderful for anyone like me who sits at a desk all day or has lower back problems. It is also a great shoulder stretch after being hunched over a computer all day. Runners always need a good hamstring stretch and this one is great! I can also see an improvement in the strength in my wrist. But as you can see in the figure above, Downward Dog is a great move when your digestive system feels off, you are having back pain, insomnia, and fatigue. The list goes on. . . you get the idea. . .

“Downward facing dog is a shoulder and hamstring opener/strengthener that also works your core. It is extremely beneficial to do because it is also an inversion (your head is below your heart) and a great way to prepare for handstand “


This figure above is from the Instagram account, @howtopracticeyoga. It demonstrates how to use the block to perfect your form. I have attempted this block exercise myself. It is actually very helpful and fun!

BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE!

Here’s a quick bonus tip for our first ever Namaste Day!


Yoga can be very rough on the wrists. Especially for a beginner. The figure below shows some great things to remember with using your wrists. Be conscious, protect your wrists, they matter too!



 

And that, folks, is downward dog or downward facing dog! Try incorporating it into your yoga routine. If you’re already familiar with this pose, “practice makes perfect”! But also, help us out!! Leave your tips and expertise in the comments. What are your thoughts on this pose? How can we perfect ours? What does this pose feel like to you? Not into yoga? What other activities do you do to meet with yourself? Tell us about it!

Until next time,

NAMASTE!


4 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All