Yoga for Depression: Day Three

Have you been following along with our daily yoga practice? I hope you have because today, we are going to move out of the bed and onto the floor. We are only going to add one move to your practice. Remember, the key here is to get yourself moving!

 So, just as a refresher you are going to start with child’s pose, 

Yesterday, we added Cow/Cat

 

Today we are adding downward dog as our daily pose. The pose is simple and easily flows from your cat/cow pose, You will just keep your hands on the ground and push your knees up and off the floor as shown below. You are going to hold this pose for 3 minutes and return to child’s pose from here. Today, spend 3 minutes in each position.

The benefits of today’s downward dog position is this:

  • Stronger hands, wrists, low-back, hamstrings, calves and Achilles tendon
  • Decrease in back pain by strengthening the entire back and shoulder girdle
  • Elongated shoulders and shoulder blade area
  • Decrease in tension and headaches by elongating the cervical spine and neck and relaxing the head
  • Deepened respiration
  • Decreased anxiety
  • Increased full-body circulation

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Step by Step

Come onto the floor on your hands and knees. Set your knees directly below your hips and your hands slightly forward of your shoulders. Spread your palms, index fingers parallel or slightly turned out, and turn your toes under.

Exhale and lift your knees away from the floor. At first keep the knees slightly bent and the heels lifted away from the floor. Lengthen your tailbone away from the back of your pelvis and press it lightly toward the pubis. Against this resistance, lift the sitting bones toward the ceiling, and from your inner ankles draw the inner legs up into the groins.

Then with an exhalation, push your top thighs back and stretch your heels onto or down toward the floor. Straighten your knees but be sure not to lock them. Firm the outer thighs and roll the upper thighs inward slightly. Narrow the front of the pelvis.

Firm the outer arms and press the bases of the index fingers actively into the floor. From these two points lift along your inner arms from the wrists to the tops of the shoulders. Firm your shoulder blades against your back, then widen them and draw them toward the tailbone. Keep the head between the upper arms; don’t let it hang.

Adho Mukha Svanasana is one of the poses in the traditional Sun Salutation sequence. It’s also an excellent yoga asana all on its own. Stay in this pose anywhere from 1 to 3 minutes. Then bend your knees to the floor with an exhalation and rest in Child’s Pose.

Watch a video demonstration of this pose.

 

SOurces:

http://www.yogajournal.com/poses/491

http://beta.active.com/health/articles/pose-of-the-month-downward-facing-dog

 

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