Get Strong with Yoga. Learn Downward Facing Dog with Joschi and Monika

Today’s video is all about Down Dog. Hi FitFlavah Fam, let’s talk about Down Dog. Today we’re going to show you the alignment,
the most common mistakes and how to fix them and of course how Down Dog can help you get
real tangible results for your workouts. The best way to go into your down dog is from
a Plank Pose or High Push-Up and with that you can
already avoid the first common mistake that for most
people the hands and the feet are too close together. The first thing you want to pay attention
to are your hands. So when you take yoga class it’s about hand placement in Downward Facing
Dog, some teachers will focus on the middle finger, another one will focus on the index
finger. But it actually doesn’t matter as long as
your wrist creases are parallel to the front of the mat, hands are
shoulder width apart, palms are pressed into the floor and your fingers are spread wide. Moving up to the arms, here create an external
rotation in your upper arms and just to give you a visual, picture the inside of your elbows
like being two headlights like we have on a car, pointing forward. And talking about shoulders, this is the place
for me as a teachers to give most of the corrections
so when you’re in Down Dog, pull the shoulders away from the ears, create space between your
upper arms and your neck for one or two fingers. And while we create an extra rotation with
the upper arms, here you have to create an internal rotation with your shoulder blades,
meaning bring the bottom of your shoulder blades together. And if you into sports like tennis, basketball,
swimming, or dancing, this is great to increase mobility and range of motion in your shoulder
joints. So the next time you go into a Downward Facing
Dog push the floor away with your hands so you don’t sink
into your shoulders Perhaps one of the most important aspects
of Downward Facing Dog, which by the way should look like
the letter V turned upside down is a straight spine. So while everyone talks about engaging the
abdominals, I see quite often a roundness is in the lower back and/or an arch in the
upper back. So let’s talk about another important muscle
– the lats – and see what we can do to help and create a straight spine in Downward Facing
Dog. And just to give you an idea, the latissimus
dorsi starts on the sacrum and the iliac crest, the top part of the pelvis. Then this triangular muscle moves all the
way up to your arms. Here it goes almost like 180 degrees around
and is attached on the inside of your humerus. So when you
practice Downward Facing Dog on a regular basis and you lift your arms up over your
head – next to the ears – and you create an external rotation, you actually will lengthen,
elongate and stretch the latissimus dorsi in Downward Facing Dog and with that get rid
of that wave in your upper body. And just on the side, the neck is a part of
the spine, so don’t over arch and keep the neck in line with
the rest of the spine And a simple solution to get rid of that roundness
in your lower back which is usually due to tight hamstrings and glutes, bend your knees slightly, so you can tilt your pelvis. And last but not least, talking about feet,
if you can’t get your heels to the floor, that’s no big deal but that’s the direction
you wanna work towards. And my tip for alignment your feet should
be parallel, so when you look to the back and you cannot see you heels then you’re actually
aligned. As you can see Down Dog really is the perfect
balance between strength and mobility training. That’s why Down Dog isn’t just one of the
most well-known, iconic yoga poses, it’s also perfect to max out your fitness performance. Like Joschi mentioned earlier, the increased
range of motion in the shoulder joints can really benefit a variety of different sports. But beyond that, Down Dog can get rid of strength
and flexibility imbalances in your body and with that reduce aches and pains as well as
the risk of injury and make your workouts more effective. Maybe most interestingly though, Down Dog
is an inverted pose and because of that it facilitates the natural movement of the diaphragm
towards the head, which means you can deepen your breath and get more oxygen into your
system and with that you can really give it your all and power through your workouts. And while I just love to hang out in Down
Dog to catch my breath and reset my body I also know that for some it can get pretty
boring doing the same, plain old Down Dog all the time. So let me inspire you with some of my favorite
Down Dog variations so you get the most out of Down Dog in terms of
functionality, mobility, strength, and body control. Of course there’s a lot more to say about
Downward Facing Dog, so we will make a follow-up video soon. In the
meantime check out our blog at And of course I would love to hear from you,
so leave me a comment below. Don’t forget to subscribe and hit the bell
button and we’ll see you in our next video. Tschuess

1 thought on “Get Strong with Yoga. Learn Downward Facing Dog with Joschi and Monika

  1. Not only did we have a lot of fun doing DOWN DOGS all throughout NEW YORK CITY, we hope you enjoy it, get something out of the video and are inspired to move! 🙂

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