About

What’s a downward dog, you ask?!

It’s just the most famous and highly practiced yoga posture of all time, that’s all!

If they gave out Oscars for yoga, this pose would have won Best Picture and, I’m sure, a lifetime-achievement award.

For me, it is the quintessential pose and one that inspires me each and every time I practice yoga.

I don’t think I’ve ever done a yoga class without a few downward-facing dogs thrown in. In fact, the downward dog is typically a pose that is done many times throughout a class. It is a restorative pose and one that strengthens and stretches almost every muscle in the body, especially the back. My back would like to thank the downward-facing dog for the many hours of pain relief it has provided.

When I first start a class, my body struggles to move into this pose, and my heels aren’t even close to being flat on the ground. They say some people will never get their heels to touch the ground in this pose, and I’m pretty sure I’m one of those people. That first downward dog is always tough, and I feel my inflexible gene kicking into high gear. As the class continues I push myself to get what I came for, my body warms up, and, miraculously, by the end of class, that downward dog feels oh so good as it stretches out my lower back, arms, legs, and I’m getting those heels just a little closer to the floor every time…aahh, I love yoga!

The first time I did yoga I was in my early 40’s. I started practicing with a wonderful instructor, and I knew immediately that yoga was the elixir I needed to calm my stress levels and to heal the tightness and pain in my back, neck, and shoulders. As with all things that are good for you, I quickly fell off the bandwagon of yoga healing. Not because I didn’t like yoga—I loved yoga—but because there just wasn’t enough time in the day.

Life changes (thankfully) and I eventually made it back to a yoga studio with a crooked back and a lot of healing to do, ready to take on a new yoga journey. I have been addicted to the yoga high ever since and today am proud to say that I am a certified yoga instructor. I never make the excuse that there is not enough time in the day. Yoga has brought acceptance, balance, and calm to my life, and if that wasn’t enough, it took away my back pain! I am growing spiritually and getting more flexible each and every day. I truly feel that yoga is the key to keeping my body in shape; no hip replacements or walkers for me. Yoga is going to make me a lean, mean fighting machine well into my 50s and beyond.

The Daily Downward Dog is dedicated to sharing my journal of cool yoga experiences as I journey through the amazing spiritual worlds of yoga and meditation, along with this thing called life thrown in. My goal is to share the benefits of yoga for people of all ages, and especially women in their peri-menopause and menopausal years and to help bring relief to the back-pain sufferers of the world. I want to demystify yoga, make it for all us inflexible people, mash it up with some great  music, celebrate the spiritual healing, and help you do it all on a budget.

Have you always wanted to try yoga, but don’t know where to start? The Daily Downward Dog will provide the information and a little mojo to get you started on your very own yoga journey. Hope to see you in a yoga class soon.

 

The Daily Downward Dog Mantras

You don’t have to rub crystals and listen to Yanni to get into yoga.

Regular use of a yoga mat can help you kick aging in the ass.

Mean people suck.

Deep breathing is the most affordable stress reliever on the market.

Laugh out loud every day.

Practice seva. Pay it forward the yoga way.

Yoga is for inflexible people.

Yoga rocks!

Don’t be afraid to take risks both on and off the yoga mat.

Friends and family are your most precious commodity.

Yoga is the best therapy, alternative medicine, and legally attainable high!

Namaste,

Maria

Here’s a few related blogs you might like:

Yoga MatsThe Top 10 Reasons Why I Love Yoga

My Back Has Never Felt Better–Yoga for Scoliosis

The ABCs of Yoga

Disclaimer: Before starting any new exercise routine, please consult a doctor, especially if you are pregnant, or have existing injuries or illnesses. The articles on this blog are meant to inspire you to give yoga a try, but you know your body best, so please only do those exercises that feel right for you.

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15 Comments

  1. Cathy

    Maria,

    Ah, we do sound like kindred spirits! I’m glad we have found each other on this journey…..perhaps we can form our own rock band and tour and teach yoga, now there’s an idea!

    C.

    Reply
  2. Jodi Gilmore-Aldrich

    Maria,
    Awesome blog you’ve got going on here! Love it! I think I will add this to my list of frequent to visit.
    Om shanti!
    Jodi 🙂
    (I sat next to you in YTT this past weekend)

    Reply
  3. Kristin

    Morning,

    I just signed up to get the Daily Downdog. Nothing like yoga! I’ve been practicing for almost 2 years and I can’t imagine letting a day go by without sticking my tail in the air.
    The YMX clothes are beautiful. I just cleaned out a bunch of clothes, finally getting rid of my HUGE Gap turtlenecks I would hide in. So, my favorite is the Henna Bloom turtleneck. Amazing color.

    Namaste,

    Kristin

    Reply
  4. Susan

    Maria-
    I took your class at Firefly Beach this past summer and I am looking forward to doing it again this year. I have been working out on my mat daily and think that I have improved my practice. When will you start beach classes?

    Reply
  5. Heather

    Just a note to say I love your site – thank you for sharing your beautiful wisdom, Maria. Peace, Heather

    Reply
  6. Ember

    Maria, were you looking for a roomie at the Tadasana festival or do you know someone who is? I am flying in from Colorado, and need someone to split a room with.

    In Peace,
    Ember Miller

    Reply
  7. Dorsey DeMaster

    Is there a way to sign up for a newsletter? If yes, I cant locate it.
    Thanks!
    DD

    Reply
    • Maria

      Yes – there is a newsletter sign up. If you go to the home page – in the second column, right next to the blog posts there is a gold and orange box that says Subscribe to the D.D.D. and there are fields below it to enter in your name and email address. When you fill out those fields and submit you will get an email that will ask you to confirm your email address and then you will be registered to receive our email updates.

      If you have any trouble finding it – please let me know.

      Reply
  8. Laura

    Your mantras are hilarious and awsome!

    Reply
  9. Jesse Herbert

    Hello,

    This week I’m doing a little spoof of the Hunger Games called Yoga Games to highlight the yoga mat strap that I make. Here is the link in case you are interested:

    http://oopsmark.ca/yoga-games/

    Cheers,
    Jesse

    Reply
  10. Maria Paxton

    Dear Maria,

    I’m writing to you from London College of Osteopathy, one of the few schools to offer an Online Master’s Certificate in Osteopathy to yoga instructors. A growing number of practitioners worldwide are seeking training in this holistic medicine as yoga and osteopathy share many similarities.

    Both disciplines determine health by one’s physical balance and emotional well being
    Postural alignment, joint mobility, and diaphragmatic flexibility are essential components of good health
    The human body, given the right support, has an inherent capacity to heal itself

    The Master’s Certificate Program builds a solid body of knowledge in the osteopathic approach allowing yoga teachers to enhance their scope of practice.

    We are very interested in your site and the possibility of presenting our program(s) to your readership.

    Please contact me to discuss a future collaboration.

    Sincerely,
    Maria Paxton

    Reply
  11. Sharon Mackert

    Maria,
    We’re on our way to Vermilion from Virginia. Want to take class with you tonigt.
    AtWhich location will you be teaching, Firefly or Maine Street?

    Reply
    • Maria @dailydownwarddog

      Hi Sharon:

      Class tonight is at Firefly Beach in Huron and starts at 7:30 PM.

      Woo hoo – it will be great to see you this evening. I’ve got classes all weekend too…
      Friday Main Street at 8:30 am
      Sat & Sun 8:30 AM at Firefly Beach
      Monday Labor Day 8:30 at Main Street

      Also on Saturday after beach yoga there will be paddle boards for rent at Firefly Beach. If you want more info on that click here: http://dailydownwarddog.com/suptember/

      Safe travels!
      Maria

      Reply
  12. Kristine Daher

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    Reply
  13. Himix

    People often refer to dogs as “man’s best friend”. I believe Downward facing dog is a “Yogi’s best friend”.

    Reply

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