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Downward Facing Dog

This is a lively asana and has immense benefits. When one is exhausted a longer stay will alleviate fatigue. It is also an excellent asana for runners. The asana relieves pain and stiffness in the heels and ankles. It will strengthen the ankles and make the legs shapely. As you follow the above sequence you will begin to notice a relief in the shoulder blades with benefit to the shoulder joint (arthritis). You will want to focus on drawing in your abdominal right back to your spine, with an increased benefit of core body strength.

As the dighaphram is drawn up toward the chest, the heart slows down. It is somewhat of an inversion as your head is lower than the heart and so all of the benefits of inversion, (blood to the head, organs relieved etc.) are incurred. It is relatively easy to do once you get the components of forward hip flexion and the activation of the thighs to allow for the release of the hamstrings. As you breathe begin to prepare your self to come out of the modified child’s pose into downward dog by pressing more firmly into your hands and feet. Allow your hips to “float” you upward straightening your legs slowly. Keep a small “micro” bend in your knees so you can feel into the sensation that you are activating your thighs to draw you away from your shoulders, rather than coming up and weighting into your shoulders to avoid the hamstring stretch. Give yourself plenty of time to explore here – taking full breaths through the nose and releasing the jaw with a big sigh on your exhales.

Published by Mary-Jo

I am passionate about diversity, inclusion, sustainability and community. Having raised my children in a small B.C. town as a single parent, I relied on the community, my resourcefulness and the land to sustain us. We developed a market farm,built a cafe and catering business that utilized the produce, local farmers and families to thrive. As a Waldorf school parent I became experienced in biodiversity, edible landscapes and community engagement. I gained substantial skills in leadership, facilitation, project management, communication through teaching yoga and running various business's. My role as a facilitator and trainer to individuals seeking to become a yoga teacher- whom never thought that they could stand in front of a room and speak in public, gave me insight into human nature and coaching. In addition to designing and building businesses - cafés, yoga studios and national training programs, I am a student of Social Development & Social Psychology and understand the complexity and importance of social engagement. I can handle with grace most any situation, having encountered a disability later in life. Consequent to becoming disabled and through advocacy and providing peer support I have trained and acquired extensive exposure and understanding of UN principles on disability, The Human Rights objectives, theories and principles of Universal Design and the various challenges and obstacles for those affected and the relationship to various stakeholders. After 30 years of teaching yoga, my spinal cord injury and subsequent sabbatical has allowed for the integration of my yoga and more in-depth study of the Healing Arts. I have had the fortune of working with some of the best in the field of rehabilitation, Somatic Experiencing and manual therapy including Emilie Conrad, Mark Finch, Judy Russel, Rod Stryker, Carolyn Myss, Ana Forest, & Tim Miller, Susan Harper, Mariah Moser, Herta Buller and Nature.