Down doggie, down!
“…and move into downward facing dog, your resting pose for five breaths”. Resting pose! If you’re new to yoga, trust me, it will be. Down dog probably won’t be your friend at the start but stick with it and it will soon become one.
Despite what Instagram’s super yogi pics might make you think, straight legs in this posture are not important. In nearly every posture in fact, think spine first, legs last. So bend your knees! Seriously, bend your knees. If you struggle with tight hamstrings, bent knees will allow you to push down hard through your hands and shoulders, transferring the bulk of the weight into your legs and feet. This action will take the pressure off your wrists and give your triceps a bit of a breather. Phew!
Then imagine your thighs wrapping in towards each other, as this will help you to shoot those sitting bones a little further towards the heavens and stick that bum up nice and proud in the air.
To give the spine that extra bit of yummy length, roll your shoulders out and drop them down your back. The best way to think about this is trying to get the eyes of your elbows (that’s the bit that someone would take blood from) to face forwards. Try imagining that you want your shoulder muscles to curl and wrap around your back towards your spine. Keep your hands planted nice and firmly, but with a little feeling of lift in your palms, and a little extra grip in your fingertips.
Lots to think about to make this a restful pose but try focusing on a few areas each time and you’ll soon notice the different it makes.