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Power of the Pose: Downward Facing Dog

Also known as Down Dog; one of the most common yoga poses which has found its way into Pilates, Barre and general exercise classes. But what is it actually doing for your body?

Bone health: While it may not appear difficult, this pose actually requires considerable strength, particularly in the shoulders. Being recognised as weight-bearing exercise means improved bone health in the prevention of osteoporosis.

Increased blood flow: As with all inversions (where heart is above head), blood flow to the brain is increased, giving increased mental clarity. This increased blood flow also serves to calm and energise the body plus the added bonus of a glowing complexion.

Fabulous feet: For everyone, particularly runners and walkers, foot health is key. Downward dog stretches through the calf and ankle and strengthens the small stabilizer muscles in the feet. To increase the benefits, slowly pedal the feet to gently increase the stretch.

Full-body stretch: There are not many poses that target all areas of the body with a static hold. This is probably one of the most effective poses for increasing strength and flexibility. From the hands, arms, shoulders, back, glutes, hamstrings and ankles – the entire body is lengthened and tension released.

Improved posture: As you settle into the pose, you start to open the shoulders and the anterior chest wall, while also releasing tightness through the neck. This is a perfect way to balance the hours spent hunching over desks and devices.

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