4 STEPS TO LONGER AND STRONGER MUSCLES
Downward Dog is the most essential pose in yoga. Amanda Bisk adds an extra layer to make the stretch build strength too. This is how you do it.
DIFFICULTY: 2 OUT OF 5
When you see someone else doing the Downward Facing Dog pose it looks like a simple exercise that you could easily manage yourself. As with most exercises and poses, doing it wrong is usually simple – but doing it perfectly is a quite complicated affair.
The good thing with this pose is that it doesn't matter if you're a beginner or a pro, if you're doing it with perfection or if your heels aren't even close to touching the ground. Because the more you do it, the more you stretch your calves, hamstrings and hips – and in no time, you're a pro.
Fitness expert, H&M Sport ambassador and H&M Magazine personal trainer Amanda Bisk shows you how to practice (and perfect) your Downward Facing Dog and adds an extra element.
Stand hip-width apart and put your weight on your heels. Bend forward so your hands touch the ground. Press them flat on the ground with your fingers spread wide. Grip onto the ground with your fingers and thumbs to take pressure from your wrists.
When in position, try to keep your heels touching the ground while raising your sitting bone to the sky and extending your legs to a maximum.
Press through your hands and keep your upper body strong. Turn your armpits towards each other and broaden your upper back.
Hold the position for five long and deep breaths.
When in Downward Facing Dog pose, release one foot from the ground and take a big step forward. Place that foot on the ground between your hands and drop your knee on your other leg close to the ground.
Lift your arms up to the sky and drop your hips towards the ground.
Keep your shoulders down and relaxed and pull your belly button into your spine to protect your lower back. Squeeze your bottom to move your hips forward and increase the stretch in your hip flexor (the front of hip).
Hold this position for five long and deep breaths.
Repeat the sequence with the opposite leg.