Dog Pose Tips
So often I see dog pose performed as a ‘press up’ where shoulders tighten and the pose is led by arm use. The shoulders are already prone to tightness, therefore our yoga practice wants to undo and not reinforce this tendency!
The alternative is to come in to the posture using our legs which are much bigger muscles and therefore, a more energy efficient method. What is required is a certain degree of hip mobility so this may need some work. The hamstrings may also be a limiting factor if tight so bending the knees a bit is fine, in addition, the heels don’t have to be flat down. In fact, for many, with the heels down there is much less lift of the thighs up in to the hips and subsequently less lengthening in the spine.
What I see a lot are prolonged holds of the posture in tightness accompanied by shaking and tension. A better method is to repeat multiple times with shorter duration holds, brief rests and good form going in to and coming out of the posture.
If the shoulders are hard to release, an alternative is to start in a squat with the arms forward and finger tips down. From this position come up to dog which will emphasise use of legs and inhibit shoulder tension.
We want to develop strength without tension which is a skill to develop so balance your effort with brief rests and then repeat to build endurance.
For advice or treatment feel free to contact me.
Go well. Will