How to Bring Your Foot Forward from Downward Facing Dog

When you’re practicing yoga, do you ever feel like it’s nearly impossible to get your feet forward from downward facing dog into a standing pose, like Warrior 1 or Crescent Lunge? Maybe you feel a little bit like this guy. 👇 

It’s like the will is strong, but the body is just NOT having it.

Maybe I’m the only one that has ever felt this way?!?

In today’s tutorial, we are gonna talk about

One thing you can try to help get those feet forward,

without having to drag them (hopefully.)

If you’d rather just watch a video, go HERE. (and remember to subscribe to our channel!)

Getting your feet forward from Downward Facing Dog to a standing position is actually the sum of many different parts. It can be the way your body is naturally shaped, how open your hamstrings are, and how strong your core is. (among other various reasons.)

One thing we can do to overcome many of those variables is to help or give that foot a “boost.”

How do you boost that forward moving leg?

The next time you are transitioning from Downward Facing Dog to a standing pose like Crescent Lunge, try grounding down the foot that will be in the back.

So, if you are in down dog and you want to bring your right foot forward between your hands, plant your left heel down, like you were setting up for warrior 1.

When you do this, you can push off the ground with that left foot. This action will help lift your hips up (even if it’s just a smidge), and it’ll help to curl your torso up ever so slightly.

When your hips move a little higher, it’ll make room for that right leg to come forward, hopefully without dragging, or at the very least, without dragging as much. Plus, since your body is curled up a little more, your belly muscles will be able to work a little more easily.

Keep in mind, as in all transitions, your stomach muscles (or in yoga, your Bandhas) are supposed to be engaged. This helps those hip flexors, glutes, and quads not have to do all the work of bringing that foot forward. That slight curling action combined with the force of pushing the back heel into the ground can create a bit more space for you to get your leg forward.

Once you can get that foot forward without dragging it, there’s another thing you can do that’ll help increase your abdominal strength without a single crunch. It’s called, keeping that hand flat. However, that’s a tutorial for another day!

If you liked this tutorial and would like to practice more with us be sure to check out Thrive Yoga and Wellness. We are located in the suburbs of Chattanooga, TN and have over 40 classes each week. If you aren’t in our area, check out our online resources, like our Youtube Channel for a growing library of free content like these tutorials, some free yoga sequences and even our newest podcast. If you’re jonesin for a bit more one on one or virtual feedback, check out Thrive Online where you can have access to even more tutorials and full length yoga inspired workouts in addition to live, interactive classes. It’s a great alternative to studio practice with the watchful eyes of an experienced teacher.

This article was written by Jennifer Dixon ERYT 500 and Authorized Ashtanga Yoga Teacher. She owns Thrive Yoga and Wellness and lives in Chatanooga, TN, with her husband, two children, two dogs, two cats and 3 (now) chickens. If you would like to contact Jennifer directly email her at jennifer@thriveyogaandwellness.com.