February 17, 2012

Downward Dog: Cane giù - Week 4 (ruff! ruff!)

I remember the first time I took a yoga class back in Atlanta I was giggling to myself about all the names the instructor was saying "Downward facing dog", "frog pose" "camel pose". Then, being a woman, its always a little intimidating knowing that your backside will be high & mighty for all the world to see. Fast forward until now, when I started back into really practicing yoga, Shari once said to me "Down dog will eventually serve as your most stable posture in yoga, you will feel more balanced in this pose than any other". She was absolutely right. As I practiced more, learned how to breathe through movements better, I was able to get into the position more balanced.

It was a learning process for myself to really listen to what my body was saying through the practice. At first I felt like my arms were so tired from too many "down dogs" (sounds funny right?), then my legs were too tired, but as I listened to my body, I learned how to make myself more balanced. It is amazing how this manifests itself into other areas of your life as well.  The instructors often advise us when we feel tired to relax in childs pose, but I would prefer to pop back up into this pose because it feels incredible on my neck and head. Again, everyone is different in what feels good, but Shari was spot on that this has become a staple pose for me.

A funny story about down dogs is: I was having a discussion with my 65 year old, avid, golf playing, father over Christmas, about how much I was enjoying yoga. He brought out a video that one of his golf buddies had given him, and sure enough, this guy was practicing yoga  but it was disguised as "golf stretching". So, what did Dad & I do? We practiced the video there in the living room one afternoon. I have to tell you I was thoroughly impressed with how easy my Dad got into this posture. It just shows that the apple doesn't fall far from the tree. We both struggle with other poses but found this one comforting.

You can see Melissa from 19r Yoga & Pilates practicing the position below. Some of my favorite classes she teaches are her morning classes, so if you are already here in Florence, you can see the schedule here!

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