Stretch your whole body with these downward dog variations.
Downward dog is a key pose in yoga because it is often used as a transition during yoga flows to let you catch your breath and rest your body. It is a pose that is accessible to most because it does not require a lot of strength or flexibility.
Whether you treat this posture like an exercise or a time to rest, we’re sure you’ll have fun trying these downward dog variations. Who says you can only stretch the back of your legs in this pose?
Downward dog with shoulders down
Feeling stiff after sitting at your desk all day? You can stretch your upper body with a simple variation. In a downward dog position, push your shoulders and chest towards the floor.
Those with open shoulders might be able to touch the mat with their forehead. For a deeper stretch, look forward and try to reach your chin to the ground.
Downward dog with knee bent inwards
Yoga practitioners will know that bending one knee gives the straight leg a deeper stretch. However, that mainly targets your hamstrings. To introduce a new stretch, turn your bent knee inward to the opposite front corner of your mat. This stretches the outer side of your straight leg, including the tricky IT band.
Some people are able to bring their knee close to their forehead while others are able to bend their knees slightly. Do what feels best for your body.
Downward dog with one leg raised
Press firmly into your palms and fingers for stability as you keep reaching your toes to the sky. Try not to twist your shoulders, back and hips as you do this, to ensure that the stretch is mainly in your legs.
Downward dog with raised knee bent
From the previous pose, bend your top leg and try to reach it to the front of the room. This helps to stretch the back of your bottom leg, front section of your top leg, as well as your back and chest.