Downward Facing Dog

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Yoga On Board, by Danielle Brown, Photography by Eddie Berman (continued)

Downward Facing Dog

1. Downward Facing Dog — It’s no wonder Adho Mukha Svanasana (downward facing dog) is often referred to as the one yoga pose you should choose, if you could choose only one daily. It stretches many major muscle groups and is grounding in its layers of contact with the deck. If your space is limited for this and all of the poses presented here, use the rails onboard, extra line, or whatever else you have on hand (or foot) for props. You’ll be glad for additional support (particularly if you are cruising and the seas and wind are up) and perhaps you’ll be inspired to continue to explore new stretches on your boat. Take your time in all transitions not just because you’re balancing on the water, but because yoga should feel good. Place your hands on the rail or on the deck, at least shoulder distance apart. Walk your feet back so the arms are straight. Send the hips back to stretch the spine long and take stock of your hips and hamstrings too. Feel it: As part of the stretch, your upper chest should get closer to the deck. Now maintain this pose for a few breaths and, with your eyes turned down, reflect on the stretch: Where do you feel tight? Are you holding any tension unnecessarily? Perhaps in your neck and face? You may be surprised what you’ll find.

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