Onward Downward Dog

angie harris

AT_onward-downward-dog_02.04.09.jpgWhy is it that what seems to be a simple pose turns out to be the hardest? Take the mountain pose, for instance: it seems fairly easy enough – or is it? Anyone can just stand there, but I am sure there are a number of smaller, finer details that need to be addressed. I’m assuming the same will go for the other poses too.

This past weekend was Super Bowl Sunday. My next door neighbour invited his buddies over to watch the game. Never had I heard so many men screaming at a TV.

Since it was a bit difficult to focus on a yoga workout, I thought I might as well work on an individual pose. Now, I know from past instruction and from watching yoga DVDs that my downward dog is not the prettiest thing in the world. In fact, I can never get it to look the way it should look, like on the videos. Even the beginner DVDs show the perfect” downward dog pose – straight arms and legs but, more importantly, a straight back, with every limb stretched and lengthened to a beautiful extension.

Mine doesn’t look that way. Although my legs and arms are straight, my spine is quite concaved. I don’t even need to look at a mirror to know that it is rounded. What sucks is that I can never seem to get it to straighten out and extend to form an equilateral triangle without sacrificing bending of my legs and/or arms. Nope, my downward dog looks nothing like what is shown on the videos.

However, despite all these setbacks from a simple pose, do I gain any benefit from being in a pose that isn’t completely correct? Now, I have to admit, normally when it comes to a yoga workout, you don’t tend to stay in a single pose for a lengthy period of time (from my experience, no more than three seconds), so there is no time to analyze whether or not you are doing it correctly. Funny how practicing only one pose makes you think about things.

I know that this particular pose is not the best looking one that I can do, but I’m sure with continual practice I will be able to get it to look nicer. It might not be pretty right now, but it really is the best I can do for the moment. So maybe the best thing I can say to myself is “onward downward dog”![tags]downward facing dog, mountain pose, straigh back, yoga poses[/tags]

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