This episode is part of a course.
Your Body on Yoga Artwork
Season 4 - Episode 5

Integrated Down Dog

5 min - Tutorial


We take a closer look at Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward Facing Dog), integrating all of the lessons we've learned on movement, support, and individuality thus far.
What You'll Need: Mat

About This Video


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downward-facing dog the iconic posture when you think of yogis doing asana practice you usually think down dog comes into the picture at some point we do downward-facing dog often in a vinyasa style practice 20 30 or more times so it's worth taking a closer look at it and putting together everything we've learned so far about all of the ways that the body moves well all the ways we can support it and respecting the individuality of all your body parts and all the people right so we're gonna start with our hand placement so I'm gonna have Linda here come up onto her hands and knees and let's just fuss with the hands for a second so she's gonna spread her fingers wide but not manically wide just kind of normal human wide and then we're gonna check her wrist creases her wrist creases are parallel to the front edge of the mat and for Linda it looks like her fingers are facing forward when she does that action my fingers are gonna look like they're turning up her elbows are not locked not bent but she's starting to kind of cue in as she presses the floor down and kind of slurps up the mat through her the long bones of her arms almost like you're rolling up a long pair of party gloves and she's gonna feel the muscles of the forearms start to kind of wake up right and she can take a nice big breath she's ready and externally rotate the upper arm bones at her shoulder joint so kind of spinning the tricep flesh forward and then keeping a little bit of a hollow or a scoop in her armpit she can tuck her toes under and she can start to lift her seat into down her facing dog so it's like a magic act bringing her into down her facing dog her scapula are upwardly rotating so that her glenoid fossa is facing her humerus facing the earth giving her much support her scapula are elevating slightly to get that glenohumeral rhythm back in play her head and neck can just take the night off and just relax here letting gravity bring a little bit more space through the cervical vertebra and then she keeps a little hollow in her armpit so the head of the humerus is not trying to wildly escape from her body but it stays integrated into her hip into her shoulder sockets she is melting her heart like the cue we always have but still feeling a broadness a space a breath a length behind her heart her front ribs and back ribs are balancing she can even soften her knees and lift her hip creases up and back so she gets a little bit more lower back curve in play nice and then she could take a lovely breath in just to find the presence within the posture and when she's ready she can bring her knees to the floor and melt back into child's pose so I know it's a lot to think of but integrating all of the body parts and there's a very well-known iconic posture sets ourselves up for more space and more strength


Kate M
Wonderful cueing... So much useful information in this anatomy series.
Kristin Leal
So happy that you are finding it useful Kate !

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