An alternative to Downward-facing Dog Pose

This pose comes as an alternative to Downward-Facing Dog pose, in situations where you experience hand or wrist problems while staying in the standard Down Dog pose. This is exactly what started happening to me lately. It is not an easy pose, but I do find that it adds to the strength in the shoulders and in the upper back in a safe way.

This is how you do it.

The starting position is standing on all fours with hands and knees on the floor, knees under hips and lower arms and palms on the mat. Now, curl your toes and lift knees while exhaling. Knees can stay bended if you need some time to get heels closer to the ground. Your back will be the guidance for this – if the upper back rounds then keep your knees bended.

It is important not to let your ego (that would like to see your heels on the mat) take you to the place where your back will not be happy at all. If yoga had become a part of your life, then your body and mind are always looking to reach the next level, which is fine. But unlike video games, you only have one body so please do not rush. Please be gentle while practicing. Even better, practice to be gentle.

It is only then you will start to feel all the benefits from yoga. Your shoulders and upper back will open, giving your upper body strength to keep your spine in the correct position. Just let go of the thoughts that may come to your mind and focus on your breath. After five deep breaths lower your knees down to rest in a Child Pose and notice how good you feel after doing this.