How to Step Forward From Downward Facing Dog!

hi friends i'm back with another practice along video on how to go from downward facing dog into any standing position i know that this challenges so many people it's one of the most requested things i get people unable to just step their foot in between their hands it seems like it should be so easy but we all struggle so i'm going to give you a step-by-step method for you to build your ability to step in between your hands from down dog now first though i want to talk about what makes it so difficult let's think about what happens when we step our foot in between our hands from downward facing dog we're really moving through a pose called knee to nose pose which is essentially shifting into a high plank position where your shoulder blades are spread away from your spine and your front body is in what we call a hollow body position so the shoulder blades spread away and the belly pulls into the spine and that creates a lot of space with which to pull or flex one of your legs into your chest so i've already highlighted three things that you need in order to do this transition you need to be able to spread your shoulder blades away into a really deep protraction you need to have a strong core in order to really get that hollow body shape to create space to flex your leg in towards your chest and you need strong hip flexors in order to flex your leg like i just said into your chest right it's the hip flexors that bring the leg in towards the torso but here's a something i think a lot of people don't think about and i know for me it was though i didn't actually realize this until i could very successfully do knee to nose was that a lot of the ability to actually bring my knee all the way and actually touch my nose is the flexibility in the back line of your body so let's think about that for a second if i don't have a deep forward fold if my forward fold looks something like this then when i'm doing knee to nose my knee is probably going to be about this far away from my face but when i can start unlocking this whole back line the posterior line of my body here and engage my front then you could see how perhaps if i take my leg into the shape of knee to nose i might actually be able to touch my knee to my nose and to make that transition a lot more smoother so that action of the torso and the thigh that's called compression so if we think about that we need a very strong front body to be able to compress the torso into the thigh and bring the knee up towards the nose and then alternatively we need a very flexible back body that's allowing that stretch to happen so i hope that that makes sense now in lieu of all of that you might not have those today right so i want to give you a bit of a practice along that you could do over and over again to help you build up this transition so our practice along is going to have three components we're first going to stretch the back body we're going to then get the mobility in the scapula of the shoulders to be able to deeply protract them and then we'll fire up the core and then we'll put those three things together and i'll give you a step-by-step method so let's get started for today's practice i'd love for you to have two blocks or some kind of prop and the ability to use a wall space if possible so we'll start with stretching our back line of our body and thinking about compressing and engaging the front line so just come on to your mat have your feet hips distance apart here standing tall bring your hands to your hips and i want to make sure that as you fold you're hinging at the hip joint here so the pelvis is moving and i want you to tilt that pelvis forward now if at a certain point you feel the pelvis want to draw under like that that's when i want you to bend your knees and you might be thinking bend my knees what i'm trying to stretch my my legs but in fact when we fold like this we're actually shortening all the very muscles we want to stretch so i'd rather your knees bent and your belly to your thighs so your forward fold might look like this and that's perfect you could also slide two blocks underneath your hands just breathing here now i want you to take ragdoll so grab opposite elbows and again a little soft bend in your knees or even a deep bend in your knees in order to get your belly to your thighs release your head so your upper back is flexed the shoulder blades are slightly moving away from your spine really deeply pull your low belly in resist the urge to just let it be soft here and we're going to take some kind of forceful swings so it'll look like this forward and back and as we pick up momentum here the legs might start to open up a little bit oh they might not that's okay and we're kind of using the momentum and the weight of our upper body to come into this kind of weighted stretch we'll go for eight more seven six belly keeps pulling in five four three two one hang and hold but hang doesn't mean hang out i want you to really use your muscles feel the back line stretch front core muscles pull deeply in and the crown of the head releases we'll release our hands to the ground again you can be elevated on blocks if you need to here and then you could place your hands on your calves or your heels and begin to pull your head through towards your legs now again your legs might be bent and so it might look like this that's all good it might even look like this that's all good so we're working compression of the front torso to your legs breathe all right inhale out of that and we'll come all the way up to stand i'm going to show you a way to use the wall to get into a deep stretch in your forward fold again no matter how straight your legs are or deep you are in this moment so let's head on over to the wall what i'm going to have you do is forward fold facing the wall and essentially what this is giving you is an assist on your back so when you're practicing at home you have some applied pressure to help you compress so you got to kind of you know work your way work your way down in here and you might need your knees bent or maybe your feet are farther away from the wall but basically you're kind of snuggling down and in i gotta kind of shimmy my feet towards the wall to where your thoracic your mid spine is pushing into the wall and i'm bringing my chin in towards my chest and then i can press if your legs are straight you can work pressing your thigh bones back if your legs are bent just push actively your back body into the wall breathe deeply adjust as needed keep pulling your belly button into your spine breathing i'm going to come out and kind of show you what some of you might look like maybe it's a little bit more like this that's good too and then eventually you're kind of working your feet a little closer and your back body and chin to chest all right let's work on out of that we'll take one more stretch on the floor so we'll take the same forward fold on our seat make sure that pelvis is tilting forward

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