Learn How to Roll Over Your Toes from Upward Facing Dog to Downward Facing Dog!
I absolutely LOVE when people reach out to me with questions about specific postures or transitions! The other day, I had a student ask about how to "roll over the toes" in the transition between Up Dog and Down Dog. Well, if you have been practicing for a while and you still can't get the hang of it, then you're not alone! It took me a while to master this transition, but once you do, you will find your flow a little smoother and also find the you start developing muscles in your core you didn't know were there! Who doesn't want that?!?
Without the yoga "toe roll" you have to switch your feet one at a time from being on the tops of your feet in Upward Dog to on the pads one the toes in Downward Dog and this makes you pause in-between these two postures and makes it a somewhat bumpy transition -as you stop to reposition your feet. I am going to give you a couple tips to begin working on creating one fluid motion by rolling over the very tips of your toes!
#1. From Upward Dog, lift UP from the waist. Often times yogis think of the transition between Up Dog and Down Dog as the hips shifting back; however, if you think about lifting up from the waist before shifting the hips back, you will start using your ore more to lift high enough that you can roll to the very tip of the toe nail.
#2. Shift the hips back only once you have lifted them upwards to your maximum. Once you have practiced lifting up with the core by pulling the navel into the spine and allowing the tailbone to reach as high as possible towards the ceiling (to where just the very tip of the toenail from the big toe is all that is left on your mat), you can then shift the hips backwards. This backward shift should allow you to gain enough momentum to roll over the tip of the toes to land on the soft pads on the toes as you push the hips back to Downward Dog.
#3. If you have tight ankles, this may be holding you back. Make sure you stretch out the tops of the feet as you warm up or before class so that the tops of the feet eventually are in line with the ankles when you point your toes. You can come into a kneeling position and practice pressing your weight into your hangs while lifting your hips from your heels placing as much weight as you can onto the top of the feet.
It just takes a lot of practice. I can't emphasize enough how visualizing this transition in your mind as you move through the poses helps out. Once the mind can master something, the body soon follows. This holds true for any posture. Give it a try and let me know if this help!
Namaste, Bendy Babes!