Downward Dog Pose with Yoga Ropes by Akasha
This demonstration of Downward Dog Pose with Yoga ropes is performed with one bottom rope to allow an option to use a blanket. A blanket will reduce discomfort in the pose from the rope digging in. This may be helpful when just getting used to the sensation of the hips being pulled back. Downward Dog Pose on the ropes may be performed using two bottom yoga ropes. Simply cross the two lower ropes and step the left leg into the right rope loop, the right leg into the left rope loop. The crossings of the ropes remain behind you and the loop around each leg come to rest at the crease where the thigh and hip meet. As you bend forward the ropes will dig into the body structures and bring greater awareness to hip alignment. The first thing you may become aware of is a greater power to drive the sitting bones of the butt towards the sky.
Downward Dog Pose on the ropes enables getting into the pose without full weight on the hands. This allows a rest for the wrist joints, more freedom to make multiple adjustments and an opportunity to enjoy spinal traction. The pulling of the rope(s) is helpful in learning how even hip joints feel. The rope(s) resists the natural forward fall of the hips which weight the hands down so there is freedom to make easier adjustments to shoulder position. Traction along the spine may relieve some pressure on the discs between the vertebrae. Those who avoid downward dog pose due to issues with carpal tunnel may find they can practice the pose while on the yoga ropes. Proceed with caution. The ropes create a body memory at the junction of the hip and thigh that leaves a lasting mental impression on how the pose is meant to feel. The entire body not just hamstrings, shoulders and hands have now been awakened.
Things to consider while in the ropes in Downward Dog Pose: pull up the kneecaps by contracting the front thigh muscles (quadriceps), this will help the back of the thighs or hamstrings lengthen. Try moving the sit bones to the sky with knees slightly bent to release the lower back. Having the heels up the wall and toe mounds on the mat remove preoccupation with heels being on the mat and offer time to feel the hips gain some freedom. Energize the abdominal muscles, abs are pressing to the spine, this sends awareness to the shoulders. Play with the arms; pull the arms into their sockets while simultaneously imagining the arms are lengthening to the floor. The base of the first knuckles of all ten digits of the hands press into the mat while fingertips press to almost grip the mat. Come in and out of Downward Dog Pose 2-3 times while on the ropes. Practice downward Dog Pose freely on the mat without the ropes to feel the benefits of your practice.
May all beings everywhere be happy and free. Namaste.