This pose is the home base in Vinyasa, a staple of Â Hatha Yoga. A pose that most anyone can do and benefit greatly from. The grounded feeling of all four paws pressing firmly into your yoga mat creates a total experience of stability. Your hands, arms, and shoulders strengthen while your hamstrings and calves lengthen. Shoulders move away from the ears in this pose allowing for the head to either hang (giving the neck a break) or stay in line with the arms. Extremely flexible people shed awareness on their shoulder joints to stabilize the arm bone into joint while using the seratus anterior muscles. Extremely strong or tight people take pressure out of the shoulders and low back by bending the knees and placing more weight back into the feet while elongating the spine. For Vinyasa Yoga, the correct distance between the hands and feet can be found by coming into plank pose, hips even with the shoulders, and then returning the hips towards the ceiling, keeping the hands and feet in the same location. As a mild inversion downward facing dog has a calming effect and is a symmetrically balanced pose.
Practice downward facing dog daily to create that same clam and balance in your life.