Yoga Journal

Teacher’s Pet

Source: PRESS HANDS TO MATSTRAIGHTEN THE ELBOWSPRESS QUADRICEPS TOWARD HAMSTRINGSLIFT THE SITTING BONESREACH THROUGH YOUR HEELSDON’T overarch your lower back.DO align your ears with your upper arms.

ADHO MUKHA SVANASANA (Downward-Facing Dog Pose) was the first asana I fell in love with. It remains my desert-island pose because it offers many benefits. When you’re tired, staying in this pose for a spell will restore your energy. It can also help strengthen and shape your legs, ease shoulder stiffness, and slow your heartbeat. I find it the perfect microcosm of yoga practice: It requires both strength and flexibility; it teaches you to app reciate alignment and thus prepares you for doing inversions, backbends, and forward bends; and it offers philosophical lessons, such as the cultivation of stability and spaciousness, that will carry over into the rest of your life.

TRAINING GROUND

Most of us come to the yoga mat with a predisposition toward either bendiness or stiffness. Whichever end of the spectrum you swing toward, you can begin to balance your body by practicing Down Dog. If you’re stiff,

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