Art & Om: Downward Facing Dog
Art & Om is our new weekly collaborative project with Karma Yoga Denton. We will explore Denton's art scene and also give you a step-by-step tutorial on how to master new yoga poses. We want to encourage you to get out and support the local arts, with a little flexibility.
Pose: Downward Facing Dog into Dolphin
Art: Nevada Hill mural outside Rubber Gloves Rehearsal Studios.
Starting in tabletop, shoulders over the wrists and hips over the knees, make sure the fingers are spread out wide and the eyes of the elbows are rotating forward. There is a slight external rotation happening in the arms, like you are twisting the lid off a jar.
Start to tuck the toes under and hover the shines above the mat. This allows you to stay mindful of the upper body, and begin to engage the abs. Using the exhales to knit in the low ribs and begin to fire up the core.
Pressing weight through the hands, as if you are pushing the mat down and away from you, begin to lengthen out the legs, allowing the sits bone (nice word for your butt) to reach toward the sky.
Gently hug the biceps in towards each other, and you can notice the release in the shoulder blades as they begin to slide down the back. This also allows the spine to be long, while the head and neck can be relaxed between the biceps.
The heels touching the mat are not the most important thing in the world, but perhaps a destination in your practice. As the body warms up the heels will reach for the mat, and the legs will begin to lengthen as we stretch the hamstrings and calf muscles.
Dolphin is another great pose to come into to work on the upper body, especially the shoulders. Allow the forearms to melt down into the mat, and begin to walk the toes towards the elbows. Pressing the forearms down and reaching the sit bones up and back will get a nice workout for that upper body. You can also play with lifting one foot and then the other.