Sassy Yoga Challenge Day 16: Downward Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana)

This is an inversion, guys! It’s the most foundational inversion in yoga, and it’s a great way to get your body familiar with the feeling of being upside down. 

There’s SO MUCH to think about in this pose!: A few pointers:

- Hands are shoulder-width apart
- Create an inverted “V” with your body - pike your hips up in the center
- Biceps frame your face — gaze between your hands instead of under/behind you
- Spread your fingers wide and cup the mat with your palms. 
- Press into the L’s of your hands - your thumb and forefinger - to take pressure out of your wrists
- Wrist creases should be parallel to the top of your mat
- Press up into your shoulders - avoid collapsing!
- Externally rotate your arms so that your biceps start to face outward (this opens your chest and shoulders)
- Engage your core!! Pull your belly button to your spine
- Reach your heels toward the mat, but don’t worry if they don’t get there (mine usually don’t!). This is a great hamstring stretch!
- Pull your kneecaps up to engage your quads
- Feet should be hip-width apart — you can fit a fist or two between your feet 

OK, got that? Easy peasy, right? :) 

As far as the photos go, I’ve demonstrated what to do and what NOT to do. 

It’s tough because yoga pictures are supposed to be pretty even if it’s harmful for your body. The first photo demonstrates this — DO NOT melt your chest to your thighs so much that you begin to hang on your shoulder joints. You want to stay engaged through your chest and shoulders and press up. 

The second photo demonstrates that you can still melt your chest toward your thighs and pike up with your hips, WITHOUT sinking into your shoulder joints. Be safe, y’all! 

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