Troubleshoot Your Downward Facing Dog

Sure, Downward Facing Dog may be one of the more basic poses in yoga, but if you’re not sure about the proper alignment, you might feel like you’ve got things backwards — or upside down.

Try this guide to troubleshoot your Downward Dog, and feel more comfortable in one of our favorite poses!

Wrists hurt?

  • Distribute the weight into the fingertips. Press the knuckles of the index and thumb fingers into the mat. This will help you squeeze your triceps towards each other, which will take the stress off the wrists!
  • Activate those abs! Down Dog requires core strength. It will help redistribute stress from shoulders and wrists to the middle of your body.
  • Still awkward? Your alignment might be off! Try starting in plank first. You should be able to push straight into Down Dog without moving your hands or feet!


Too tight in the hamstrings and calves?

  • Keep your knees bent. Until everything else is aligned, put a bend in those knees. Then you can gradually work on stretching your hamstrings and sending your heels toward ground. You can still work on pointing the tailbone upward and elongating the spine to maintain proper alignment.
  • Breathe! Inhale up to your toes, exhale to stretch heels towards the mat.



Feel too “scrunched up” in your neck and shoulders?

  • Keep your ears in line with your biceps. This will help align your neck with your spine so you can be in one straight line from wrists to tailbone.
  • Keep your neck relaxed. Draw your shoulders away from your ears, and shoulder blades toward each other.
  • Rotate the head. Slowly and softly moving the head from right to left can help you create some space in the neck.



Hands still slipping?

  • Pull yourself up through your abs. This way, you’ll stay light in your hands.
  • Place a towel under your hands to help with grip. We have complimentary hand/face towels for every class! Feel free to grab one.
  • Take Courtney’s Thursday Mixx Challenger and bust those abs into shape!

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