My journey to the understanding of Adho Mukha Svanasana

Our bodies are built differently whether it is skeletal compression or muscle tension. When I started practicing yoga I found my legs were just not straight in downward dog ( Adho Mukha Svanasana). I actually never realized that this pose was not really about lengthening the hamstring and so it actually doesn’t matter if our knees are straight or bent at the initial stage of practice. We have to adjust our weight by pulling our hips back so that our weight falls back evenly and press our heels as far as we can towards the mat. After starting my practice here in 200 hrTTC with my teacher Hui Yan , i realized that the prime focus of this pose is on elongating the spine and opening up our upper back. I used to make a common mistake by focusing too much on trying to get my legs straight and the spine was not really getting that extension which is the essence of this pose. I am thankful to my teacher who has helped me to get my alignment correct throughout the pose. As the name goes downward facing dog is a full expression which resembles a just woke up stretch of a dog with front paws splayed wide, rib cage on the ground , tail and triumphant doggie booty to the sky. The more i practice it, I find my body more attuned to the pose’s benefits and relax into it rather than struggle against it .
Vidya sep 2014 200 Hr TTC

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