Downward-Facing Dog with Toe Raises

Definition - What does Downward-Facing Dog with Toe Raises mean?

Downward-facing dog with toe raises is a variation of downward-facing dog pose. It is typically one of the first poses beginners learn.

From downward-facing dog pose, the toes are lifted and the abdomen drawn in to support the spine. The gaze is between the feet or toward the navel. The pose is held for a cycle of six to 10 breaths.

This is an important asana for strengthening and toning the arms and legs and for lengthening the spine. It can be used during Sun Salutations instead of the standard downward-facing dog.

Yogapedia explains Downward-Facing Dog with Toe Raises

Adding toe raises to downward-facing dog benefits beginners and advanced yogis alike because it engages muscles deep in the ankles and feet, stabilizing the pose. Balancing on the toes also lengthens the spine while strengthening and stretching the arches of the feet.

Downward-facing dog with toe raises calms the mind while energizing the body. As an inversion, it gets blood flowing to the brain by reversing the action of gravity. It also provides a different perceptive on an emotional level, boosting confidence.

Additional benefits of downward-facing dog with toe raises include:

  • Engages core muscles
  • Strengthens the skeletal system
  • Opens the hips and shoulders
  • Improves flexibility through the back of the body and shoulders
  • Strengthens the wrists and arms
  • Relieves stress, insomnia and headaches
  • Relieves sciatica
  • Strengthens and stabilizes the ankles and feet

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