The Adho Mukha Svanasana, the downward facing dog, is a great posture for helping you to settle into the present moment.
This posture stretches out the hamstrings and gastocnemius (calf muscles) and latissimus dorsi in the back. It improves circulation to the head and brain which helps us feel refreshed and invigorated. This posture helps us let go of the past and brings us totally into the present moment. On an energetic level, you may be aware of energy flowing from the base of the spine, mooladhara chakra, and up though all the chakras to the crown.
As it's an inversion, it’s important not to do this posture if you have high or low blood pressure, glaucoma or have had recent abdominal surgery. It’s also advised against doing this posture on the first 3 days of your menstrual cycle.
How to do this posture?
Come onto your hands and knees with the knees directly below your hips and your hands below your shoulders (as in the cat posture). Tuck the toes under, engage your core muscles and with the exhalation lift your knees away from the floor. At first keep the knees slightly bent and the heels lifted. Lengthen your spine and lift the sitting bones toward the ceiling whilst gently easing the heels towards the floor, straightening the legs.
Keeping the head relaxed and in line with your arms, once again soften your knees and lift the heels. Take the weight slightly forward onto the hands. Then lift the tail bone and gently take the heels back towards the floor.
Enjoy this flow for a few moves before bringing the knees back down to the floor.
Rest your forehead on the floor and drop the arms down by your sides for a few breaths. Make sure you pause for a few breaths before you stand up in order to balance your blood pressure.