How: In Yogalign the version of down dog is high dog. the heals stay lifted high, spreading fingers and toes and ingaging the arches. The focus of the pose is concentrated on keeping the extension of the spine in its natural curves. Those with backs who can not retain its natural curves, should keep the knees bent. The sacrum keeps its natural tilt with no pulling or pressure and the head and neck are extended and the shoulder blades are pulled back. The upper arm bones are lifted and connected to the back muscles, and the head is free to turn. Let your breathe lead your movement. Breathing deeply through the ribs and exhaling slowly an “S” noise while focusing on keeping the waist lenghtened. IF you are having difficulty keeping the curve in the spine, bend the knees until eventually you feel the freedom in your limbs and spine to fully engage the legs. As a corrective and restorative, come down to your knees, widen your stance and back up into high dog with deeply bent knees to keep the curves in the sacral tilt and lumbar curve, arches of the feet, with the shoulders pulled in to the socket. Most important is your breathing. Inhale with a Core SIP Breath as you extend your neck, as you exhale, slowly with the ‘S” noise engage your core trunk muscles while keeping the length and space between your neck and torso.
Benefits: Aligns the spine while engaging and stabilizing the core and integrity of your joints. Improves balance, tunes the fascia pulley’s, strengthens the arches of the feet, and increases the stability of your shoulder joint while releasing tension from the neck. Inversions are also a great benefit to the cardiovascular, lymphatic, endocrine, and nervous system.
Cautions: pushing the shoulders down towards the ground, is added pressure and causes hyper extension and over stretching of the nerves, sacral ligaments and rotator cuff. Avoid hanging from your ligaments, locking from your joints, and pushing your chest and heals to the ground. It may cause postural dysfunction.
For more information on Yogalign you can purchase the Yogalign Pain-Free Yoga From Your Inner Core at Yogalign.com or at your next your class at The North Shore Wellness Retreat.