Eeeeeekkk! I can’t believe I’m doing this. Welcome to a brand new series for this blog…Yoga Practice. First off, there is no ONE right way to practice yoga, it looks different on every body, it changes even in a single body, and with different focuses and variations, possibilities are endless. That said, this is my take on it…with video included (below).
Why down dog? Isn’t that super easy?
It’s more than just hanging out upside down.
In this video I’ll walk you through my internal dialogue (hopefully that’s helpful) from my fingertips all the way to my toes:
Finger tips + palms + elbows + biceps + armpits + chest + belly + hips + butt + legs + knees + feet + eyes
All of these things going on make this stretch key to any practice. It’s also one of the very first inversions most people do.
Okay, let’s practice.
I hope that made sense, if not, please leave a comment below. I’d love to hear your feedback!
Thanks to my sister for this idea. I walked her through this pose and she told me it’s been helpful as she’s continued her practice. She didn’t know what she should be feeling or thinking about while hanging upside down. Now she does. Love you, Sis!
Just in case you want this in non-video format, here’s some reminders:
FINGERTIPS + HANDS
-Your fingertips grip the mat, not just flat.
-Index finger pad should push into the mat at all times.
-The perimeter of your hand should be on the mat, the center of you hand might be slightly hollow.
ELBOW PITS + BICEPS
-Elbow pits should be facing each other, not be facing out in front of you.
-Biceps should be hugging toward the midline of your body.
CHEST + ARMPITS
-Chest is sinking towards the ground.
-Armpits are opening back towards your toes.
BELLY + PELVIC FLOOR
-Pull your belly button to your spine to engage your pelvic floor muscles. Those muscles are key to controlled core movements.
-To help get good belly form, you can go on your tippy toes, pointing your hips and butt up as high as you can, pulling in your belly, then lower back down to non-tippy toe feet.
HIPS + BUTT
-Your hips + butt should feel like they are trying to push back to the wall behind you…or the top edge of the room behind you where the wall and ceiling meet.
LEGS + KNEES + FEET + EYES
-Pull up your knee caps by tightening your thigh muscles. This will tone your legs from top to bottom.
-You can play with making your legs straight, no matter how far your heels are off the ground OR keep them slightly bent so long as the other body checks are still happening (as already reviewed).
-Your heels might not reach the ground. That’s okay. Use and enjoy what your body offers you knowing that as you continually practice, your practice will change. Find content with where you are.
-Look back toward your toes if you can. You can look all the way toward your belly button. If both of those are not reachable, look down where your chest is trying to drop towards.
You got this.
I know this might seem like a mundane video, but this set up has been key to some of my focus, tone, and strength.
And just as a note:
I love the evolvement of things. Watching myself change and become someone new every day is a gift. This blog began as a place to share mostly vegan recipes and now includes my home gym, strength exercises, inspiring interviews, and now yoga. Movement connects me to myself and others in a way that other things cannot. I hope you find something here on Carrot Bowl that will help you make your life more mindful, more intentional, more peaceful, and more powerful.