My appreciation of the hip flexors while practicing the downward facing dog pose was enhanced during the first weekend class. In the past, there was somewhat “unconscious ignorance” of the hip flexors (inner hip muscles or ilipsoas) “activation” while executing the pose. Consequently, I felt significant body weight on my hands which could sometimes be uncomfortable. Learning the “trick” to “activate” the hip flexors, I was able to effectively transfer some body weight from my hands to my feet and felt “lighter and more comfortable holding this pose considerably longer.
So, why does it matter to stay (reasonable time) in this pose ? In my opinion, there are several benefits and these include (not limited to)…
a) It enables the practitioner to enjoy the pose and to regulate the breathing (one could practice Ujjayi breath to enhance the benefits)
b) It is a milder inversion pose for practitioner who may not have head/hand stands in their practice and where the heart is above the head, it encourages blood circulation and serves to both energize and calm the body.
One easy tip to “wake up/activate” the hip flexors while practicing the pose is to firmly press a towel between the hip flexors and abdomen. This is definitely a great way to “hi-grade” the practice for the pose.
March 2018 200 Hr Weekend YTT