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May 2015 Issue
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Down dog

Photo;Tony Gazley
Yoga trainer and Wellington Tramping Club stalwart Megan Sety shows how you can become tramping fit, flexible and strong

The down dog pose is excellent for trampers as it stretches the back of the legs – including hamstrings, calves and even ankles. In addition, it can help build upper body strength and with regular practise can also be quite relaxing and calming.

  • Place your hands and knees on a non-slippery surface
  • Start with your hands underneath your shoulders, then move them forward about one hand’s distance
  • Your hands should be as wide as your shoulders or even a little wider if your shoulders are tight
  • Spread your fingers and make good contact between the floor and the palm of your hands and fingers – especially the base of the fingers. This will help protect the wrists
  • Tuck your toes under and start to lift your hips. Your feet should be hip-width apart and parallel – toes pointing forward. Start to press your heels towards the ground while lifting your hips higher
  • If your legs are tight, bend your knees to protect the lower back and make the stretch more moderate
  • You can stay here for a few breaths and come down to your knees to rest
  • Try it again. This time, bend one knee and press the heel of the other foot towards the floor
  • Switch back and forth between your legs to stretch your calves further