Ask an expert

06 Oct 2006

Downward Dog
Hi There

On two of my yoga dvd's (different instructors), I have noticed them explaining the downward dog position differently.

On the more ameturish one, she mentions that when in downward dog you should stare at your belly button, which forces you to curl your neck inwards.

On the other, the instructor keeps his head inline with his uppper arms, and his neck straight and inline with his back (which I assume is better).

I would like to hear you expert opinion on the two scenarios.

Thank You
Answer 417 views

01 Jan 0001

Hi jskr, firstly as you probably know, there are literally hundreds of styles of yoga - each with a different approach so its unlikely that you will get one "right" way of doing something. The important thing is to work at building a greater internal physical awareness, which may involve trying different ways. The position of the head is one of those things with opinion ranging from gazing up at the navel, lengthening the back of the neck and deepening the shoulder stretch as you take the chest towards the thighs, through to keeping the neck straight to some who even suggest looking up towards the hands. In the Ashtanga style the gaze is at belly button and the variation if that is uncomfortable is to look between the knees. Either way, as long as there is no pain in my opinion it is just a different approach.
All the best.
The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical examination, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.