During this week's practice I worked through multiple sun salutations. And it occurred to me that I'm not sure if I am doing downward facing dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana) correctly.
Now, this has been an ongoing question in my mind because whenever I transition into downward facing dog from either the plank or hand and knees position, I always feel out of position.
Typically, I move my feet forward to feel like its the right position. In the last six months or so, I've also tried keeping my feet planted in place and moving my hands back instead.
How far apart should one's feet and hands be during downward facing dog?
Interestingly, Yoga Journal talks about different types of "dogs" - long versus short. Depending on the flexibility in the shoulders, mid back, hamstring and calves (the main areas being taxed during downward facing dog), it will depend what type of downward facing dog you will do. Makes total sense - you are as good as your weakest or in this case tight or flexible link!
It is a battle of body parts! Based on my assessment, two parts of my body fit well with long dog whereas other parts of my body align with short dog.
Flexible shoulders = short dog
Flexible mid-back = short dog
Flexible hamstring = long dog
Tight calves = long dog
I guess this is a bit of a disclaimer, but Yoga Journal suggest to "rather than be concerned with a rigidly defined and "proper" Downward-Facing Dog, explore all its variations...emphasizing different parts of the body in any given sequence." Hmmmm...
I dug deeper and found a few more handy resources on downward facing dog. One focusing on the lower body, one focusing on the upper body and one just focusing on technique and variations. All good reads!
But I still haven't answered my original question. Is it because everyBody is different?
Do you know the answer?
Maybe I'll find the answer in a future post,
Aspiring Yoga Teacher
I've practiced yoga since I was a pre-teen and have always found it to keep me centered. I will be a teacher one day and this is my journey to discover teaching and practice.