Start the day with a downward facing dog!
Not only does this pose energize the body, strengthen the shoulders, lengthen the spine and improve posture, but it helps in relieving mental tension especially when combined with long, smooth cyclical breathing.
Other benefits include…
Calms and helps relieve stress and mild depression
Energizes the brain (extra blood flow) and can boost productivity and creativity
Stretches the shoulders, hamstrings, calves, arches, and hands
Strengthens the arms and legs
Helps relieve the symptoms of menopause and relieves menstrual discomfort
Helps prevent osteoporosis by building bone density, as it is considered a weight-bearing exercise
Improves digestion and can stimulate the various organ systems in your body
Relieves headache, insomnia, back pain, and fatigue
Can help open up sinuses and allow the flow of mucus if you have any nasal congestion
Therapeutic for high blood pressure, asthma, flat feet, sciatica, sinusitis
Come onto the floor on your hands and knees. Align your wrists just in front of your shoulders and your knees directly under your hips. Spread your palms, index fingers parallel or slightly turned out, and turn your toes slightly inward. Make sure to distribute your weight evenly across your hands.
Exhale as you tuck your toes and and lift your knees away from the floor. At first keep the knees slightly bent and the heels lifted away from the floor. Lengthen and lift the sitting bones toward the ceiling, and begin to straighten your legs, but do not lock your knees. Relax your head, but do not let it dangle. Gaze between your legs or toward your navel.
If this is hard, find a partner or imagine your hips and thighs being pulled backwards from the top of your thighs.
Stay in this pose anywhere from 1 to 3 minutes.
Then bend your knees and slowly lower to the floor with an exhalation and rest in Child's Pose. Option to bend the arms and walk the elbows forward and place the hands in a prayer position above your head. This gives your wrists a break and stretches the backs of the arms and pectoral muscles.