I don't know about you, but I LOVE the feeling of my first Downward Facing Dog of the day. It feels sooo amazing. Have you ever wondered why it feels good? I'm sure you know that there are many physical and mental benefits to a yoga practice. Even still, sometimes I find it hard to get motivated for my home practice. I'm sure many other people struggle with this, too. So here you go, here's 3 reasons why you should practice one of the most common yoga poses, Downward Facing Dog, every day!
1) Downward dog stretches the back side of your body. This pose stretches your calves, hamstrings, lower back, shoulders, neck, and the soles of your feet. Flexibility is very important for optimal health; it allows the body to function with ease. Not only that, but as we age, our bodies get stiffer and stiffer; if we want to remain active in our old age, it is crucial to remain limber. Stretch your body every day!
2) Downward Dog stretches the Urinary Bladder Meridian (UBM) in your body. While it might seem like obvious information that Down-Dog stretches your calves, hammies, and back, you might not know that it also stretches the Bladder Meridian. According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, the UBM runs alongside the back of your body (from the inner eye, up to the top of the head, and all the way down to the pinky toes) and is our bodies first line of defence; protecting us from illnesses. In order words, stretching the Bladder Meridian can help prevent you from getting sick!
3) Downward dog is an inversion! Adho Mukha Svanasana (downward facing dog) is one of the most easily accessible inversions. There are many benefits to practicing inversions and they should always be including in your daily practice. Inversions help to bring more blood to your brain, face, and scalp; because of this, the head also receives more oxygen and nutrients. This tends to have a calming effect on the mind and helps to lower stress. This increased flow of blood to the head helps to improve your concentration and retention power, and rumour has it that practicing inversions every day may also reduce signs of aging (wrinkles, grey hair, etc.). Inversions have many more benefits including regulating your blood circulation, lymphatic system, blood pressure, and balancing your hormones... To name a few :)
I hope this article helps to shed some light on the many benefits of having a simple yoga practice. Always remember to start where you are and enjoy the process. Life is good!