Updated: Feb 21, 2021
Want to explore Downward Facing Dog with me?! If so, check out the video above!
After browsing a few images of Downward Facing Dog on Google, you will likely notice the following: the perfect upside down “V” shape, heels fully pressed into the mat, straight legs and arms, and a completely straight back. Well, my first attempt at this posture looked NOTHING like this! My back was rounded, my heels were lifted, my knees were bent, I had no clue what my shoulders were doing, and I felt uncomfortable.
I practiced this posture on a regular basis; however, I noticed very little progress. I became frustrated, and started to cram my body into this shape. In doing so, I injured myself. YIKES!
I learned a valuable lesson that day. I saw the parallels that exist between my actions on my mat and my daily actions. I have gone through most of my life trying to achieve perfection. I have compared myself to others, and I have used these comparisons to measure my worth and success. I have forced myself into situations that have impacted my mental health and my relationships with those around me. Who would have thought that one posture could help me identify old habits and stories that exist within me.
My experience with Down Dog is very different today. I have developed a better relationship with my mind and body. My body differs in terms of biology and biography. I am choosing to let go of what I think this posture should look like. Instead, I am focusing on how I can find more ease in this posture. So yes, that means keeping my knees bent! I have also learned to “take the power out of the posture, and put it back in the person” (Asia Nelson).
I may never achieve that “perfect” shape, and I am okay with that. I have decided to embrace where I am today. Cramming and forcing will just create unnecessary tension in my physical, mental and emotional bodies. This is not useful to me on my mat or in my day-to-day life.
What is something that is not useful to you? Perhaps today is the day that you decide to let go of it. Trust that you have the capacity to do so. You got this!!!