Have you ever been in a yoga class-hot, sweaty, muscles on fire, when the teacher “invites” you to come into downward dog for a few breaths to rest.

Rest?!?!

You know. Just hold your body up with your arms, bum in the air, head down. Now rest. No big deal right?

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Um, yeah. Actually it is a big deal. Although downward dog is probably the most popular yoga pose out there, that doesn’t mean it’s easy.

Downward dog requires a fair amount of strength in your arms and shoulders. A little bit/a whole lot of flexibility in your calves and hamstrings. And some core strength to go along.

So if you’re pregnant, newly postpartum or haven’t been on your yoga mat for awhile, yeah, downward dog might feel a wee bit challenging!

The good news though-yoga is a practice. So the more you do it, the easier it becomes.

But that being said, there are LOTS of ways that we can help prepare your body for downward dog so you’re not just counting down the minutes til savasana!

I’ve put together this short sequence to help prepare your arms, wrists, shoulder and core muscles so you feel stronger and more supported when you’re getting your downward dog on.

NOTE: If downward dog doesn’t feel great or right for you at this time, check out the alternative option I’ve added at the end of this sequence. If you’re having a hard time connecting to your deep abdominal muscles, feel vulnerable in the pelvic floor, or uncomfortable (light headed or nauseous) having your head down during pregnancy this may be a good time to try the variation using the wall or a chair so you’re more upright but still get the nice stretch that downward dog provides.