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Half Downward Dog Pose

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Published on Aug 15, 2011

Dr. Paul Jerard, E-RYT 500 (Director of Yoga Teacher Training at Aura Wellness Center) Speaks to you in this short lecture about how to do Half Downward Dog Pose and the benefits. Demonstrations given by Yong Yang.

Dr. Paul Jerard, through his various videos, has always explained the countless benefits of practising yoga – be it pranayama, meditation, or yoga postures (also known as yogasanas). If we talk about yoga postures, not only do they improve our stamina, but also facilitate healing and reduce the pain resulting from traumas or physical injuries. Many yoga postures that involve stretching of particular body parts, strengthen the muscles in those body parts and improve flexibility. Moreover, yoga, even in the form of postures or asanas, is safe enough to be practised by anybody and everybody.

The only precaution students must take is they must practise safe yoga, and those suffering from any medical conditions must consult their doctors before performing any exercise. They must also make their yoga teachers aware of any medical conditions that they might be facing.

In this video, Dr. Jerard and student Yong Yang demonstrate a therapeutic variation of the Half Downward Dog pose. Dr. Jerard explains that this pose and its therapeutic variations fall under the active back extensions category. There are people who face spinal injuries because of long hours of working with the PCs, or standing for a long time, or any other situation that causes spinal injuries. Practising this pose enables to decompress the spine and thus provides relief to the spinal area.

Next, in the video, Yong begins demonstrating the pose by first entering the Table pose. Here, Dr. Jerard suggests that students must ensure that their hands are under the shoulders and the knees are aligned under the hips. Additionally, students must observe that their feet are not flared out. Dr. Jerard also points out that in the Table pose, some students may have a slightly upward slope, but that is because of the built of their bodies, which is perfectly alright. Next, Yong sets himself in the Table pose, extends his arms, and brings his forehead down and touches the floor such that a downward slope of 45 degrees is formed.

Further, in the video, as Yong completes the pose, Dr. Jerard says that some yoga teachers may want to physically adjust the students so that they perform the pose accurately; but, teachers may instead recommend and demonstrate suitable modifications so that the students can perform the pose with ease and without taking too much stress. Students can also use a prop, such as a block, to support their foreheads. Then, Dr. Jerard explains that practising this pose draws the spine out and decompresses the lower spine thereby providing relief. Students can hold this pose for about a minute or two with ease. While concluding the video, Dr. Jerard warns that students with high blood pressure must seek medical opinion before performing this pose.

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