Building Your Foundation
Lesson time 11:08 min
Donna demonstrates fundamental movement principles that underlie the safe and easeful practice of yoga.
Students give MasterClass an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars
Topics include: Downward-Facing Dog| Adho Mukha Svanasana • Mountain Pose | Tadasana
[RELAXING MUSIC] - If you look at any yoga book, you'll see hundreds of postures, literally hundreds of them. And many people feel a little confused by all of that. Like, how am I going to learn all of these different postures? But in truth, we can boil down all these complex movements into very simple foundational practices. And if you understand these foundational practices, all of the other postures build from these foundational movements. NARRATOR: Downward Facing Dog or Adho Mukha Svanasana is an inversion that is taught in nearly every yoga studio. But a proper approach is important for a healthy body and a healthy practice. - So Carla is going to demonstrate for me. Coming all the way back to the work that we did in the chapter on breathing. More important than the form of this posture is that Carla manages to connect to and then sustain the feeling of the breath fullness as she's coming the posture. So before you come up, Carla, take a moment just to connect with your inhalation and exhalation. And then sustaining that connection as you make the transition, pressing back through your hands. NARRATOR: Curl your toes under and push up. - And I'm going to suggest that Carla keeps her elbows and her knees bent so that she establishes first the connection to the earth, a feeling of yielding through her hands, yielding through her feet. And with this more mobile position, she can test her fluidity by shifting her weight right hand, left hand, right hand to the right foot, to the left foot, to the left hand, and so on. I like to feel that I could spring off the floor like a tree frog as I'm preparing to come into Downward Dog. What you might notice is that when Carla breathes in, she allows her shoulder blades to rise and to fall. She allows her shoulders to move away from the floor and to release back. And the whole of the spine is permitted to move as she breathes in and as she breathes out. So what I often see when I teach this pose-- if you come down, Carla-- is students starting the pose with the arms completely rigid. You could call that propping. Pushing back, setting their position. And now the movement of the breath is suppressed. So we only want to use as much muscular energy as is required and as little as possible so the subtler wave-like motion of the breath can flow through the form. As Carla's body starts to warm up, we might focus then on the connection between the head and the tail through a neutral spine. If your hamstrings are little tighter, what will tend to happen if you try and bring your heels to the floor is you end up rounding through your back and rounding through your shoulders. So if you're tighter through your legs, what you can do-- a few strategies. First of all, try bending your knees to deactivate the hamstrings, and then lifting your sit bones up to re-establish the neutral position of your back. For some people, that's not quite enough. And what you could ...
About the Instructor
With nearly 40 years of experience, Donna Farhi is one of the most sought-after yoga instructors in the world. Now the “teacher of teachers” is sharing her approach to creating a safe, sustainable yoga practice with students of all levels. Whether you’re looking to realign with the heart of traditional yoga or are just getting started, learn postures, foundations, and philosophies to guide you on your journey.
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Renowned yoga instructor Donna Farhi teaches you the most essential physical and mental elements of creating a safe, sustainable practice.Explore the Class