Downward Facing Dog is a tricky pose. In most yoga texts it is considered a resting pose, and yet most practitioners feel that it is anything but restful. To add to this, many yoga practitioners have found themselves injured from practicing this pose. To add to this dilemma, yoga teachers watch practitioners with any number of elbows splayed, shoulders to ears, rounded backs, and want to help. We want to enable better form, and yet so many of us aren’t sure where to start because so often when we do, when we follow the standard cues given, more problems show up.
This DVD is a response to these issues.
Over the years of training teachers in anatomy, biomechanics and kinesiology, I have noticed that most hiccups for teachers reside in trying to teach the “form” or the pose. Whether in their 200 or 500 hour programs, or in continuing education, the focus is on “what Downward Dog should look like”. And, if a student can’t do the “what Dog should look like”, then modifications are provided. However, the modifications don’t really ever lead to actually being able to “do” the pose, they just compensate for what is already tight and limited.
This DVD focuses on two of my foundational principles for teaching:
- That “asana” is not a static pose. It is a state of being. Translated asana means “sitting comfortably and still”. My aim, then, when teaching the physical yoga practice is to develop asana in the movements.
- That form follows function. If we want to improve our form, we need to improve our function. And, when we improve our function not only does “asana” emerge, we move into the form very quickly.
- The truth of the matter is that most practitioners who are practicing yoga don’t have the shoulder and hip function to do Downward Facing Dog. This doesn’t mean they can’t or shouldn’t move toward this position, however, it does mean that we need to understand the impact of pushing a body into a “form” that their “function” is unable to maintain. This just leads to more compensations and doesn’t resolve much of the tightness or tension that is limiting them in the first place.
- This DVD series explores:
- the mechanics of Downward Dog
- what is truly limiting people moving into the position
- how to teach your students better function so that they move more fluidly
- the trouble with common cues
If you are a teacher and are frustrated by teaching this pose, and have to, or if you are a practitioner and would like to find more ease in this position you will enjoy this DVD.