Downward Dog is such an iconic pose in yoga.
It can help to stretch the lower spine while the tailbone is in a happy dog, tail up position. It can also help us trust ourselves to hold up against gravity while the head lowers down in an inversion.
However, downward dog brings some challenges – especially for anyone with physical limitations due to health, an injury, or other concerns. Downward Dog requires the strength of our arms and broad platform of our palms. We need our shoulders to stay with the back and not scrunch around our ears. We can get a good stretch at the back of the legs, although we can keep our knees bent and our heels do not have to fully touch the ground.
Downward dog can help us find acceptance of what works well for our body, without comparing to others.
When we start to have challenges with standing up from the floor, or getting down to the floor, we might be tempted to leave downward dog out of our repertoire. I would like to encourage you to do the adapted chair version. Downward dog is the very best pose that will help you get back down and up from the floor.
I love doing downward dog in many places! On a bench, a large rock, and just about any interesting formation that can securely support me without slipping.
I hope that you will try it!