This Month's Yoga Focus: Downward-Facing Dogby Lisa Diers, R.D., L.D., E-R.Y.T.
Today’s yoga blog focuses on variations of a common pose taught in yoga: Downward-Facing Dog. Downward Dog is one of those poses many feel a love/hate relationship toward. I know the first time I did a Downward-Facing Dog and I heard the yoga instructor say “this is a resting pose” I almost laughed out loud!
To me, it felt like anything but restful. It can be uncomfortable at first, to say the least. One way to curb the discomfort, but still receive the calming, grounding, and stretching benefits is by adapting the pose to meet your body's needs. Meeting your body where it is and not where you think it should be can allow for building stability in the body and flexibility of the mind. It can also help curb distraction caused by pain or discomfort. Perhaps you find that stability in the variation and with time, move on to another version. Or maybe you stay where you are because that is what you need. Remember, whether you practice this pose in a class or on your own, it's your body. Your yoga. There is strength in honoring what your body needs, no matter the variation.
About the Author
Lisa is The Emily Program's Director of Nutrition and Yoga Services. Lisa oversees the national operations of both nutrition and yoga departments, which includes the direction and oversite of the clinical practices for 65+ nutrition staff and 20+ yoga instructors. She has over 10 years of eating disorder specific experience in yoga instruction, clinical nutrition counseling and program development. Lisa draws from her deep knowledge base of nutrition, yoga, body image and eating disorder treatment to meet clients' physical and emotional needs. She develops and conducts national eating disorder and body image sensitive yoga trainings and is also a regular blogger on nutrition, yoga and body image; a published author (articles, book chapters and published research); and continues to conduct research to better understand the role of yoga and nutrition in eating disorder recovery.