For seasoned yogis, downward-facing dog is considered a “resting” pose, famous for providing a deep stretch for the entire back of the body. But, if your shoulders are feeling sore from an extra-strenuous workout, this pose can feel like anything but a vacation. If you’re looking for an alternative with many of the benefits and none of the work, and a massage isn’t in the works, grab a teammate or training partner and try this mutually beneficial down-dog variation. Buddying up never felt so good!
Try it: Tag-team shoulder stretch
Grab a partner and hit up this pose pre-workout to make some space around the shoulders and upper back, or post-game to help avoid stiffness around the rotator cuff, lats, and more. Plus the hamstrings get a nice ride along the way.
- Face your friend and put your hands on top of each other’s shoulders
- Back away from each other as you lower your torsos parallel to the ground (being careful not to whack your heads together!)
- Keep your feet about hip’s width apart, knees slightly bent
- Look forward, keeping your spine straight and your neck aligned with your spine.
- Hold this pose for 5 – 10 deep breaths and release.
- Still feel tight? Repeat!
Stay tuned for more downward-facing dog variations including a solo alternative that you can do against the wall.