This is a great workout for the whole body, improving flexibility while helping you become stronger. There are 3 main movements – the Downward-Facing Dog, the Scorpion and the Upward-Facing Dog.
• Flexible strength
• Whole-body toning
• Hamstring and hip flexibility
• Upper-body strength
These exercises are designed for everyone. Just listen to your body and don’t force yourself into positions you’re not ready for. Start off by doing the proper manoeuvres but with smaller ranges of movement. Then slowly build up.
Downward-Facing Dog: Start on floor (mat or carpet) on hands and knees. Position hands under shoulders and knees under hips. Keeping hands and knees in position, tuck toes under, then lift hips up and straighten arms and back. If possible, straighten legs. If not, keep knees slightly bent. This is the Downward-Facing Dog. From this position, drop back onto all fours and repeat hip lift up to ten times.
Child’s pose: Following warm up, from all fours sit back on heels with arms outstretched for a moment or two. Keep knees apart and rest forehead on floor to release tension in back and neck.
- Begin in Downward-Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana).
- Lift right foot off floor and raise leg as high as possible, breathing in as you do so. This is the three-legged dog. (Tri Pada Adho Mukha Svanasana).
- As you exhale, bend right knee and open right hip to the right side.
- Breathing in, shift bodyweight forward, bending elbows and bringing hips towards floor. Hover an inch above ground for a moment to build strength. This is the Scorpion – and it’s a challenge! If slowly lowering your whole body’s too tough, put left knee down.
- Bring right leg to floor beside left leg, as you exhale. Hands should be under shoulders and head in front of fingers. Lower whole body to floor. This is the Staff Pose (Chaturanga Dandasana).
- From here, inhale and lift head & shoulders up, straightening arms. Hips should lift a little. Squeeze glutes to protect lower back. This is the Upward-Facing Dog (Urdhva Mukha Svanasana). Lift as high as possible, keeping elbows off lock. To return to beginning pose, exhale while lifting hips up, allowing head to relax and hang between arms in Downward-Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana). Repeat sequence up to ten times, breathing steadily throughout.
- Relax and finish in Child’s Pose (Bala Asana), then slowly rise to stand.
If you’re new to exercise or Yoga, try this sequence without the Scorpion leg lift, keeping both feet on floor (in sequence order of 1,4, 5, 6).
Flexible strength, whole-body toning, hamstring and hip flexibility, re-energising and upper-body strength.
Then you’ll also enjoy Yoga, Ashtanga Yoga, Hatha Yoga, Iyengar Yoga, Yogalates, Beaming, Pilates, willPower & grace® and Body Balance.
Watch the demonstration video of Downward Facing Dog
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