Arriving in Downward Facing Dog
Come into downward facing dog by stepping the feet back away from the hands creating an upside down “V” shape with the body as pictured above.
The Hands: Take your gaze up to your hands and make sure all of the edges of your palm are firmly pressed into the mat or earth and make sure the tips of your fingers are firmly pressed in so that the fingertips begin to turn white. Check in with wrists and make sure that they are supported by the hand, if the wrists begin to feel tender, press a little firmer into your hands to relieve some of the pressure.
The Shoulders, Back, and Abdomen: Begin to feel your head tilt downward so that the gaze is in between the knees or the thighs. Feel your belly button begin to reach up and in towards the diapraghm engaging uddiyana bandha. Feel the sit bones reach up towards the sky as the pelvis presses away from the rib cage. Feel the heart press in towards the thighs, your hands pressing in to ensure you are not dumping into your shoulders, if the shoulders begin to round forward in a cat-like posture take a slight bend in the knees to support the spine.
The Legs and Feet: Your feet should be about hip distance apart, begin to feel your strength in your legs as your heels start to magnatize towards the earth (they do not need to touch.) Feel the pads of the feet beneath the big toe and pinky toe ground into the earth, and feel all ten toes pressing into the mat with a little bit of space in between each.
Moving from Doward Facing Dog into a Forward Fold
Exhale to take a big bend in the knees and feel the thighs press in towards the abdomen, inhale to come up onto the toes, exhale and feel the upper and lower core engage. Inhale to gaze up in between the hands signalling to the legs where they are headed, exhale using the core to reach the right foot up in between in between the hands, exhale, and then on your next inhale reach the left foot up in between the hands to meet the right. Inhale taking the hands to the thighs, shins, blocks, or the ground and half lift reaching out through the crown of the head and the tailbone. Exhale taking a slight bend the knees, fold in as you feel the belly button reach up and in, and the sits bones reach up towards the sky.