If you know yoga, you know downward dog. Shucks, even if you’ve heard of yoga chances are this pose has come up before. However, did you know that the seemingly simple pose is actually quite helpful to the health of you body?
I sure didn’t until diving into what wiggling around and turning upside down can do for you body.
This asana (or pose) stretches the shoulders, legs, spine and whole body. Builds strength throughout the body, particularly the arms, legs, and feet while also relieving fatigue and rejuvenates the body. Downward dog’s supplementary effects improves the immune system, digestion and blood flow to the sinuses, calms the mind and lifts the spirits.
Okay, but want to know some neat side effects you can’t find on Wikipedia, here they are:
Yep, you heard it right. Doing downward dog can help strengthen your bone structure. This isn’t mumbo jumbo, it is a cause and effect created by building bone density. Downward dog does this because it is a weight-bearing exercise, in this case, the pose also builds upper extremities too. As an effect, the pose helps manage or prevent osteoporosis. All in all, it’s a phenomenally gentle way to load the shoulders and put your arms above your head, which I think we all need a little more of in the day to day.
& run at the speed of light
Not only does this super duper pose bring with it strength to the calf and ankle, but also encourages lots of smaller stabilizing muscles in the foot. So if you decide to go fora run or hike, your feet can conform to the ground faster. In other words, the feet become faster at transferring weight from terrain changes because downward dog has been conditioning those muscles to “move around” a little more. I always recommend adding to this pose by pedaling your feet to deepen the stretch [YouTube Video Example], bending the knee helps and is also recommended.
A healthy glow
Remember when as a kid, we sat upside down on the sofa, letting all the blood rush to our head? Well downward dog is the adult version of that. Except, with all that added blood flow to your face and brain, combined with the calm expression of mindful practice, we create a youthful afterglow. I say toss the makeup, spend a few minutes in down dog!
Now you know, impress your friends in the next yoga class with all your immaculate knowledge on this super man of yoga poses.
Are you inspired to do a try a quick workout?
Try the “Mindful Yoga” workout we made just for you ( click to download pdf ) if you like it, let us know on our Facebook page, or share it with someone else you think it could help.