February has breezed in, snowdrops are beginning to pop up and there are patches of blue sky to be seen, but there’s still a nip in the air so it feels good to keep moving – warming and stretching the body, energising and refreshing the mind as we look forward to spring.
Downward Facing Dog is an invigorating stretch for the whole of the body, strengthening muscles and increasing the flow of blood to the head. If you only have time for one posture today, this is a great choice! Combined with just a few other postures, it can form the focal point of a warming sequence to get you going in the morning or for a boost anytime that energy starts to flag.
From standing: inhale, raising both arms up overhead, then exhale, folding forward from the hips, coming into a forward bend with hands on the mat, outside the feet. Step the feet back one at a time, keeping them hip width apart, and press down into the palms of the hands, grounding the base of the index fingers. Push the floor away with the hands, lifting and moving the hips back, straightening the spine, keeping the head in line, lifting the tailbone towards the sky, aiming the chest towards the legs and heels towards the ground. Take care not to tense the shoulders – rotate them outwards and let the breath flow, pedalling the feet to ease any tension in the leg muscles.