Instructor Rika Henry at VITAL Fitness Studio. photo by Louie Solomon

Yoga 101: Downward Dog

Downward Dog:

Adho mukha svanasana, or downward facing dog, is a full-body stretch that alleviates stress and increases blood flow to the brain, improving mood and focus. This is a great pose to practice first thing in the morning or when you need a quick energy boost. Begin in a plank, and lift your tailbone straight into the air as you flatten your heels to the ground, stretch your hamstrings back, and pull your chest towards your thighs until your ears are in line with your biceps.

Benefits:

–Stimulates blood flow to the brain and heart

–Removes stress from the spine and eliminates stiffness

–Builds bone density and upper-body strength

–Tones legs and arms

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