How to Strengthen Downward Facing Dog and Chaturanga Dandasana
A great way to help strengthen (or modify) and align your sun salutations can be found at the wall. Use the wall to work on Plank Pose (left), Downward Facing Dog (middle), and Chaturanga/Yogi Push Up (right).
When planking and in down dog:
- lengthen from the heels up through the crown of the head
- tone through the navel, draw the shoulders down and wide away from the ears
- slightly bend the elbows and spiral them in toward the ears
- keep the hands wide and press into the base of each finger
When performing a wall push up:
- support your spine with the same alignment in plank pose (navel in, lengthen spine, etc.)
- bend the elbows, tracking either next to the ribs and/or at a 45-degree angle
- lead with your chest, not your belly
- avoid shrugging the shoulders and arching your lower back
You can also perform this sequence with a chair, safely placed again the wall or on a sticky mat. Use the back of the chair as you would the wall. The chair variation will be more challenging and is a great way to transition from the wall to the floor.