The yoga pose known as downward dog is, I’ve always thought, one of the weirdest moves that’s considered relatively easy for beginners. Any intro yoga course is going to have a lot of them. But you’re upside down, you’re stretching parts of you that don’t often get stretched and your shoulders have to support a good bit of your weight, a thing they rarely have to do otherwise.
And that’s why I think doing some downward dogs is a great option for getting out of your chair and shaking things up a bit. In a way, it’s the opposite of sitting at a desk.
My own downward dogs are hardly Instagram-worthy: my ankles are flexible but my hamstrings are tight. Maybe you have your own challenges. That’s okay. If you’d like to perfect the pose, Yoga Journal has a guide to the finer points here. But it’s enough to just try your best and enjoy the stretch and the challenge.
Personally, I benefit most from downward dogs when I can move into and out of them. Plank to downward dog and back, for example, makes for a pushup-like movement, and a very different sort of challenge than doing an actual pushup. (You can even add some actual pushups or low chataranga into the mix if you’re feeling spicy.) Move into or out of this one however you like, or just chill and take a few breaths in the position.
However you do it, this quick fitness snack will improve your day, and possibly inspire you to do some arm circles and go for a walk around the block to round out your snacking experience. Give it a try!