The 3rd part of the three part series includes a video of two modified versions of Downward-Facing Dog using a chair for a prop. Also a video of Extended Puppy Pose version of Down Dog. Tight, weak or injured shoulders, the chair or Extended Puppy versions may work well for you.
Once you’ve gotten into one of the Down Dog versions as seen in the videos you begin adjusting. Have your palms as wide as the chair and the distance between the feet or knees is hip distance. Keep your arms straight, pressing the shoulder blades in will help this. Also rolling the upper outer arms to the floor helps widen the shoulders. Rolling the upper arms out helps free the neck by release the shoulders away from the ears.
The Extended Puppy Pose version is with an elongated back that is straight opposed to the true Extended Puppy Pose with the head to the floor and back-bending in the lower back. One video I demo the Extended Puppy relating to Down Dog that will build strength in the same parts of the shoulder as full Down Dog.
We are in a constant Forward Bend all day and Down Dog will help with what I call the
3Cs (or 3Cs Forward Bends): Car, Computer, Couch. It helps to take out the Forward Bends of everyday life and begin straightening the spine to give us a healthier posture.
Other benefits of Downward-Facing Dog: Great for runners to open the hamstrings for quickness and speed, and also since it stretches the legs and feet, giving flexibility which translates into speed for sports that involve running. Also benefits by stretching and lengthening the neck, shoulders, back and legs. When I finish a bike ride I do Down Dog and it feels great.
From Daily Insight Yoga Journal : “Down Dog calms the brain and helps relieve stress and mild depression; it helps relieve the symptoms of menopause; it relieves menstrual discomfort when done with the head supported; it helps prevent osteoporosis; it improves digestion; it relieves headaches, insomnia, back pain, and fatigue; and it is therapeutic for high blood pressure, asthma, flat feet, sciatica, and sinusitis.”
For more information on Downward-Facing Dog go to my previous two posts Downward-Facing Dog Video, part 1 or 2.
Healthy & Happy,