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Hands On Adjustments Artwork
Season 1 - Episode 6

Three-Legged Down Dog

5 min - Tutorial


Rosemary breaks down the essential alignment cues and a hands on adjustment for Three-Legged Downward Facing Dog.
What You'll Need: Partner

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Nov 16, 2018
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We're going to take some of what we know about the foundations of downward facing dog and then let it evolve a little bit into three-legged down dog. Before we come into it, I want to say just a couple things. This adjustment is definitely a deepening of the posture for the student. It also helps to stabilize. So I see very often these days when we get into three-legged dog, everything displays out of alignment.

We lose the balance through the shoulders. Sometimes we scrunch into the low back and this will help draw that all into stability. So Lana will come into down dog and then go ahead and inhale, lift the left leg up and open the hip, bending the knee. So we see she's keeping the stability through the hands, rooting down through the base of thumb and first finger. You'll also notice that there's this beautiful balance through the shoulders and the upper back.

Often the tilt is so extreme through the hips that it throws the shoulders out of alignment. If you see that, you can simply say keep a steady balance through the shoulders. Then for the manual hands-on approach, you're going to take a pretty wide stance and squat down low so that you can tuck your shoulder underneath that lifted leg. One hand comes to the student's sacrum, fingers pointing down towards the head and the other hand comes under the leg to the thigh. This hand on the sacrum is drawing up and back to help lengthen the spine and also stabilize if they're splaying out a little and the hand on the thigh is drawing slightly up and back a bit, deepening the opening through that outer hip.

And then you just gently release the leg, keep this stable sacrum and slowly step away. Good. You can go ahead and release the leg and just relax into child's pose. All right. So explore that, see how it feels and thank you so much.


Lily A
1 person likes this.
Wonderful to see how this should be adjusted. I never knew how to assist students with this hands-on. You’re right that it’s often an asana where things are thrown out of alignment! Thanks for the great tips, Rosemary!
Rosemary Garrison
You're welcome, Lily ! I'm so happy you're finding it useful. Students LOVE this adjustment- so it's an extra joy to offer. Enjoy!

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