Downward Facing Dog | 5 variations that target different areas of your body

Hey everyone,

Downward Facing Dog is one of my favourite postures and I thought I would share with you some of the variations I love and teach. It wasn't always a favourite pose; my wrists would ache and my arms would be shaking within 10 seconds due to not having much upper body strength.

Modifying Downward Facing Dog to suit your body and needs means you can gain more from the pose as your targeting the areas of your body that need attention. I hope you find a variation in this video that you can implement into your Yoga practice or part of your warm up/cool down at the gym and enjoy.

First of all, what's so good about Downward Facing Dog?

  • Energizes the body

  • Calms the mind

  • Helps to release stress

  • Improves digestion

  • Strengthens the upper and lower body

  • Stretches the shoulders, hamstrings, calves and ankles

  • Lengthens the spine

  • Therapeutic for: flat feet, plantar fasciitis, back ache and sciatica

Not much then...

These 5 variations focus on different areas of your body and can be a good supplement to what you are practicing already.

1. Walk the dog.

  • Releases tight calves.

  • Stabilizes and strengthen ankles.

  • Slowly stretches the hamstrings.

2. Heel lifts.

  • Stretches planter fascia.

  • Stabilizes and strengthen ankles.

  • Helps to avoid dumping weight into the heels which can round your back.

3. Shoulder mobilizers.

  • Great for mobilizing the upper body: shoulders and upper back muscles.

4. DFD presses.

  • Builds upper body strength.

  • Improves other presses, e.g. Chaturanga, Crow pose, Plank pose.

5. Hand to foot.

  • Builds upper body strength.

  • Works on balance.