Down Dogs and More Down DOgs...

Brooklyn, New York

     Do you ever get the urge to pop into a Downward Facing Dog? I know I do. I couldn't resist while walking through Brooklyn the other day to take a pause and move into a down dog. There is something about this asana that feels like coming home. Maybe it has something to do with its meaning.

     Think about household dogs. They are known to be loyal and unconditionally loving to their masters. In essence, this reflects our relationship with the Divine. Bhakti Yoga is a path where emotion is transformed to devotion. The Bhakti always has his/her mind focused on God, seeing the presence of the divine in all things. In the same way, the dog is ever watchful, giving loyalty and undying love and devotion to his master. 

     The geometrical shape of this asana mirrors the triangle. Our bodies support and hold this shape in order to transcend. Shapes, like asanas, are used to withdraw consciousness from outer to inner worlds. As your body takes the shape of this pose, there is an invocation to enter the field of higher consciousness. 

     In this pose, the buttock bones are the apex, drawing light to the lower limbs as well as into the upper body.There is a gateway portal at the heart center drawing the ch'i (energy) from the lower chakras towards the upper chakras for refinement. Prana naturally rises upward freeing the mind of chaos. This occurs when the navel is relaxed so ch'i can pass through the gateway of the heart. The heart offers itself to the head elongating the neck and bringing the chin to the chest. This initiates the third lock, activating the network to the brain. The throat lock also stimulates the thymus, thyroid and parathyroid endocrine glands. 

     Many times in this pose there is a tendency to arch the back. This only creates compression of the spine. To avoid this, concentrate on lifting the ribcage up off the pelvic region. If you do not the energy coagulates in the lower chakras. Furthermore, it is important to soften the navel center so prana can flow with ease. When energy flows upward we connect with the Divine will.

Om!
Mary Jane - Feng Shui Yoga Girl - www.fengshuiyoganj.com

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