The Downward Dog Conundrum.

yoga

I think the most difficult part about starting a blog that isn’t really about anything is deciding what to post first. Travelers have it easy, “I made it to this foreign place alive!” end of first post. But this blog isn’t about traveling, its about me and the small things that make me who I am. At first I thought, “perhaps I should summarize myself in my first post” and then I thought, “that is what the about me page is for, duh”. So instead I am starting with the most recent small thing that I can think of. Yesterday evening’s yoga class.

Let me start by clarifying something real quick. I am not a “yogi”. I am not bendy or stretchy or even strong, but every now and again I do enjoy reminding myself how poor my balance really is. Yesterday evening (that is Monday, November 17th, 2014, for the official record) I went to a small yoga studio in Oakville called Kula. I participated in a standard hot yoga class taught by a lovely lady named Trish. Her voice was so calming and motivational all at the same time. I really enjoyed this yoga class. I found the class to be both physically challenging and mentally relaxing. I strongly believe that this is the whole point of yoga, challenge the body and clear the mind, so mission accomplished.

However, one thing I did not accomplish during the class, my downward dog pose. Essentially this pose hands and feet on the mat and butt in the air. Sounds easy, right?WRONG. This pose is my kryptonite. You see I have very bad wrists, my right one is particularly bad, and this pose (as I was doing it) was putting a lot of bad pressure on my wrists. So after the class I put on my brave face and asked Trisha how to really master this pose.

downward-dog-yoga-pose

What she said will forever change my yoga life. Are you ready for this? I don’t think you are. Elbows. Knuckles. Triceps. That is the secret. Still confused? Let me break this down.

  • Step One: Start by turning your elbow creases towards the front. Don’t turn your hands. Just open your shoulders and turn your arms.
  • Step Two: Focus on pushing your knuckles into the mat, specifically your pointer finger knuckles. If it helps to bend your fingers a little then do that.
  • Step Three: Actually this isn’t so much of a step as a result. By shifting and refocusing your arms and hands you will be moving the pressure from your wrists into your triceps! Now I just need to get some muscles in my arms… great.

At the end of the day your downward dog should look something like this:

download

Mine isn’t quite there yet because I literally only got the proper instruction last night but I’ll share a picture of myself once I’ve had more practice.

Small thing take-away for the day: Ask for help when you need it.

It can’t hurt and it will probably make a huge difference. My yoga practice is going to be so much better now that I actually know what I am doing. Sort of…

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