Helping Your Dog Breathe Better (Video)
By Kristine Kaoverii Weber | January 7, 2023
The typical way that I heard Downward Facing Dog being taught for years was something like this: “From tabletop, place the heels of your hands one hand length in front of your shoulders. Curl your toes under. Take a deep breath. As you exhale, lift your hips up and back.”
When you get into the pose there are often other instructions to externally rotate your humerus, or allow the elbow creases to turn to face each other, or bend the knees slightly and take the chest towards the shins, or “walk your dog” by alternating knee bends, etc.
All of these instructions have their unique value of course.
But what they lack is the nuance afforded by the subtle guidance of the breath.
Practicing with the subtle guidance of the breath means that you lead with the idea that it’s the prana, riding on the breath, that animates, enlivens, and mobilizes your body. The idea is that the prana leads the movement.
When you practice with subtle breath guidance, there’s an incredible amount of nuance that can awaken a sense of curiosity, interest, and even joy in the nurturing sensations of moving mindfully. Curiosity inspired movement is catalyzed by curiosity inspired breath. Together they produce a nurturing, creative, and personal growth inducing practice. (And, BTW, curiosity is the psycho-emotional correlate of the neurotransmitter dopamine – very important for mood, motivation, memory, and attention).
Please check out this video of how to work with a breath-centric Downward Facing Dog. I hope it gives you some ideas about how to catalyze the breath in your asana practice, and I hope you enjoy it! Please leave a comment.
Please join me live on January 28 for Subtle Yoga for Menopausal Magnificence. Check it out here. Early bird ends January 15.
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