Downward Dog is not for me...
December 19, 2009 3:58 PM   Subscribe

Can anyone give me recommendations for yoga dvds that do not contain downward facing dog poses? I really do not enjoy this position for reasons I don't want to explain here. I tried taking a yoga class at my park district, but there was so much downward dog I ended up quitting after just three classes.
posted by TrickyLib to Health & Fitness (11 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite has a large database of 1-hour classes so you should be able to find something (or you can just skip downward dog when they do it). It's 9.99/month or you can pay to download individual classes. They also offer a free weekly class, but you don't get to choose it. As a general caveat though, I don't really know of any style of yoga that doesn't incorporate downward dog as a fairly important pose, especially as you advance in practice. You might try looking for kundalini classes - they seem to use less downward dog.
posted by scribbler at 4:07 PM on December 19, 2009

This doesn't exactly answer your question, but why not book a private class with a really good instructor and see if downward dog can be modified in some way that makes it more doable for you? Or figure out a substitution you can do? I assume that the classes you were taking were doing a bunch of sun salutations. I don't see why you couldn't just substitute child's pose or something like that for downward dog.
posted by yarly at 4:16 PM on December 19, 2009

I also wish I could find classes without inverted poses, because of what they did to me. I took a class for several years that I thoroughly enjoyed, and it was really helping my back and keeping me flexible. But because I'm somewhat overweight, the inverted poses ruined my wrists -- they both hurt all the time, and hurt badly when I do certain tasks that strain them. And there's nothing that can be done about them; the damage is done. I really miss the classes and have become noticeably stiffer since quitting, though. I don't know what TrickyLib's reasons are -- I can think of several off the top of my head that have nothing to with my reason.
posted by onemorething at 4:32 PM on December 19, 2009 [2 favorites]

I've been doing yoga for years, and while I've gotten pretty competent at everything, I really struggle with downward dog. On Thursday I managed to make it through the entire set of vinyasa's without my upper back/shoulders giving out. It felt good. I blame sitting in front of a computer for too many hours a day for causing the problems.

While normally I equate "things I'm struggling with" with "things I need to keep doing until they're no longer a struggle", I'd suggest talking to your instructor about some alternatives to the pose. I've taken yoga in classes all over the world, and they've all included downward dog to some degree, so finding a video without it might be tough. Good luck.
posted by backwards guitar at 7:39 PM on December 19, 2009

I kind of like Kundalini Yoga for Beginners and Beyond, which is a full 1.5 hour yoga session that can be stopped at, I think, 45 minutes.

There is one downward facing dog pose, I think. It lasts about three minutes. Spend those three minutes in easy pose on your mat, just doing the breathing exercises you learn at the beginning of the video. (I'm the queen of sitting out certain exercises, but with me it's the ones that hurt the knees!)

I have several other yoga DVDs with Ravi Singh and Ana Brett, and they're fun. There's also Live Yoga Life, which is down for the holidays but which has a whole assortment of yoga class podcasts. I've only done a few, but they were high quality.
posted by brina at 7:42 PM on December 19, 2009

The best of the yoga teachers I take classes with always instruct us to use child's pose as our default whenever we can't/won't do any pose. So maybe you can find some DVDs with less downward facing dog, and use child's pose instead.
posted by BlahLaLa at 7:52 PM on December 19, 2009

I would suggest trying out another yoga class. Look for ones labeled "gentle" or "serenity." Try taking it at a dedicated yoga studio - talk to the owner or manager and ask for classes that don't have a lot of down dog. Then simply tell the instructor before class that you have physical limitations that prevent the down dog from being beneficial for you and that you'll be choosing alternative poses when they go through it. Then just do your own thing. As my wonderful instructor put it, "We are not yoga robots" - everyone has their own way of doing things and their own needs and limitations.
posted by radioamy at 3:49 AM on December 20, 2009

Iyengar yoga is holding discrete poses for long periods of time, and frequently we never do dd at all. Maybe try an Iyengar DVD and just skip the dds, if there are any? Or take an Iyengar class and explain to the teacher than you need an alternative.
posted by Ollie at 6:41 AM on December 20, 2009

^^and then do those same poses at home in lieu of a DVD.
posted by Ollie at 6:42 AM on December 20, 2009

Megan Garcia has a gentle program that mostly focuses on warrior, sun and other standing poses. There is a section on dd, but you can easily skip it from the title menu. It might be too soft for you, it was for me and I'm technically a novice.
posted by Juicy Avenger at 3:50 PM on December 20, 2009

Without knowing your reason - so admittedly this may not be at all helpful - have you tried doing a modified version of Downward Dog? When I had foot surgery, I went to yoga class but couldn't put all my weight on both of my feet, so I did a modified version of the pose from my knees.

If you like the rest of the sequences that revolve around Downward Dog, this may make it easiest to move into the next pose (as opposed to from child's pose, though I agree that is a reasonable alternative as well).
posted by bozichsl at 11:22 AM on December 22, 2009

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