Shoulders in Downward Facing Dog

Over the years I've realized that "advancing" your practice isn't about doing the big, fancy, cover of Yoga Journal postures. It's more about refining your practice. As a student and teacher I'm excited by deepening my understanding of the "basic" postures. I like to get into the tiniest details of alignment and I thoroughly enjoy the process of helping students find their own unique alignment in common postures. 

This brings us to Downward Facing Dog. What a complex posture! For the first five or so years of my practice I didn't appreciate Down Dog. I felt like I was working too hard and wanted to quickly move out of it. Now I feel very differently. Down Dog feels free and supportive in my body. I am definitely still working physically, but my body seems to be working in such a balanced manner that nothing seems to be over-working. 

What helped me get to this point? Figuring out what my shoulders were doing in Downward Facing Dog! I truly think the shoulders are the missing link in this common posture. To help you find more joy and freedom in your Downward Facing Dog I put together a short video explaining the movements of your shoulder joints while you're upside-down with your arms in an overhead position. Check it out!