Yoga for YOU: Downward Facing Dog Pose

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In downward facing dog, our weight is evenly distributed between our hands and feet. All four paws are rooted into the ground creating a sense of connection with the earth. It is the combination of balance and groundedness that gives a unique sense of unity with all.

Yoga translates to yoking or unifying. Uniting mind, body and spirit is the purpose for practicing yoga. Everyone begins their practice for a reason, typically other than yoking, and receives much more than they expected.

Yoga is experiential. You must experience yoga to understand the united benefits of the practice. Healing, strengthening and opening can happen for everyone, yet each person goes through their unique process of connection.

Start in tabletop pose with your wrists under your shoulders and your knees under your hips. Walk your hands about six inches forward. The index finger and middle finger point straight ahead. Roll your shoulders down your back and away from your ears. Hold your shoulders there. Curl your toes under. Lift your knees off the mat and hips towards the ceiling.

Most important in this posture is not whether your heels reach the ground or if your legs straighten; it is about lengthening the spine. Create the longest back that you can by pressing your sits bones higher and stretching your chest toward your thighs. Take 5-10 breaths repeating the mantra, “I am connected.”

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Michelle Ploog has been a nationally recognized yoga teacher for over 13 years. She’s certified in Baptiste Yoga, Kripalu Yoga, Fluid Power Vinyasa and Restorative Yoga. She began practicing as a teenager and has since evolved into co-developing and facilitating Yoga Teacher Trainings in multiple locations. Her expertise in fitness as an ACE certified personal trainer, years as a sports-specific yoga teacher/ fitness trainer for the FL Everglades, and experience in wellness coaching influence her dynamic approach to yoga. She spends her time between Minneapolis and Naples throughout the year, and calling her partner Dan and their furbabies Dallas and Kitty her home.

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