Downward-Facing Dog with Bent Knees

Definition - What does Downward-Facing Dog with Bent Knees mean?

Downward-facing dog with bent knees is a simple variation of the basic resting inversion posture. Downward-facing dog pose (or down dog) is typically one of the most well-known yoga poses and one of the first poses beginners learn, but yogis with limited flexibility, particularly those with tight hamstrings, may struggle at first. By bending the knees in the pose, it is easier for the yogi to practice downward-facing dog without rounding the back.

To enter this bent knees variation of down dog, begin with the hands and knees on the mat, aligning the wrists under the shoulders and the knees under the hips. Straighten the elbows while relaxing the upper back. Then, tuck the toes and lift the knees off the ground, keeping them bent. Reach the sit bones up and back. Draw the lower abdomen in to support the spine. Keep the gaze between the feet or toward the navel. Breathe evenly for a cycle of 10 breaths then lower the knees to the ground to exit the pose.

Yogapedia explains Downward-Facing Dog with Bent Knees

Downward-facing dog with bent knees is an important asana for strengthening and toning the shoulders, arms and legs and for lengthening the spine. It can be done during Sun Salutations in place of down dog or as an additional pose.

This asana calms the mind, relieves stress and energizes the entire body. As an inversion, it gets blood flowing in the opposite direction by reversing the action of gravity, and nourishing the brain and upper body. Downward-facing dog with bent knees also provides a different perceptive on an emotional level, boosting self-confidence.

Additional benefits of downward-facing dog with bent knees include:

  • Strengthens the skeletal system
  • Opens the hips and shoulders
  • Improves flexibility in the back body and arms
  • Strengthens the wrists, arms and shoulders
  • Relieves stress, insomnia and headaches
  • Increases blood flow to the brain

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