Up & Down Dog Days

It’s the middle of August already?! Which means September – September! – is just a few weeks away. Typically August means the “dog days of summer”, as in the hottest and most sultry. Interestingly, the name comes from the ancient belief that Sirius, the “Dog Star”, caused the hot weather due to its proximity to the sun this time of year. Anyhow, we don’t get many dog days here in Montana (thankfully, I might add. I am not a summer person). In fact, I was just checking the weather for our last Cowgirl Yoga Ranch Camp of the season this weekend, and it looks like it’s going to feel more like fall. Even so, I’d like to honor the dog days with an easy way to get a quick yoga fix with – you guessed it – up dog and down dog.

This simple vinyasa is very effective at working out quite a few kinks. It gets your heart pumping and breath flowing quickly. It’s perfect on its own as an energizer, or as a warm-up for other activities.

The How-to:

  • Start in Downward facing dog. Make sure that you have enough space between your hands and feet. You can check your alignment by coming forward into plank pose from downward dog; if you had to move your feet to get your shoulders to line up over your wrists, your spacing was off.
  • Keep your hands and feet exactly as they are. On an inhale, come forward into a modified version of upward facing dog (your toes are still tucked under here).
  • On the exhale, push back into downward dog. Use your core to help lift your hips.
  • Repeat 5-15 times, with slow steady breaths. Each full breath = one full up dog-down dog vinyasa.
  • When you finish, rest in child’s pose for 5-10 breaths.

This photo of me in up dog was taken in Paradise Valley last week; those are the Absaroka mountains in the background. You can see more from my fave yoga photog Larry Stanley on his Facebook page – become a fan if you like Montana eye candy!