Yoga Tips – Transitions – Down Dog to Lunge

– What’s up everyone? Welcome to Yoga with Adrienne! I’m Adrienne, and today
we have some yoga tips. So, this is a question
that comes up a lot, and I want to tackle it today. We’re gonna get started right away. Transitioning from Downward Dog to Lunge. Lunge, to Downward Dog,
how ever can we do it? Especially in a flow class, or a Vinyasa in a way that doesn’t hurt
out wrists and shoulders. Let’s play! So, the real answer to this question is that it just takes time, right? Integrating the body. But we have to know the cues
and things to pay attention to in order to grow our practice in a way in which we can do that. So, that means, is we have to
create a full body experience. So we can’t just go straight to the Downward Dog, here in my opinion. We need to start with a little Cat-Cow to open up through the front body, to open up through the back body. To begin this conversation with the hands which is super important
for this conversation, for this question. And also with the feet. Take one more with your breath, inhaling, drop the belly to your mat. Exhaling as you draw
the navel to the spine, tucking the tail. Awesome! Then curl your toes under, and send it up and back
to Downward-Facing Dog. Same thing, pedal in out here. And consider the space
that you’re creating in the side body. So you might shift the hips
a little, left to right. Then send your awareness to your hands. Now, notice if your hands
are starting to come up here if you can press into
all ten knuckles firmly. In particular, the space between your index finger and thumb. Draw the shoulder blades, in and together, down the back body. Create space between
the ears and shoulders. These are all super important
things, as we work on getting that leg up and into our Lunge, gracefully and swiftly. In time! Great, then take one
more deep breath in here and this time bend your knees. Take a big inhale in. And then exhale lower back to all fours. Awesome! If you need to take a quick rest, off the wrists, please do. And then we’re gonna come
to all fours, once again. So, tapping into the core is
kind of the biggest thing. When taking our leg all the
way up, into the Earth… Excuse me, all the way up into the sky. And then all the way back into the Earth. We have to activate the core. It’s not just about swinging
that leg up, and in. That’s why we end up coming short and why we end up having to use our hand. Which is totally fine. Sometimes we’ll do it our
whole life, our whole practice. But what we want to do is engage the core as much as possible. So, to play with that… And again, no judgement,
every body is different. So your solution to this problem, or the answer to this
question is going to be a little bit different for everyone. But, let’s just play and have some fun! That’s the beauty of the home practice. We get the time and the
opportunity to do this, together! So, we’re gonna play with that by lighting that fire in you belly. Lighting, kind of sparking
that match in the center. We’re gonna let this radiate
and heat up a little bit. So, don’t give up, stick
with it, stick with me. We’re going to go down on all fours. Wrists underneath the shoulders. Knees directly underneath the hips. First thing is first, press
away from your yoga mat. In Downward Dog, there’s a tendency to crash into the front body. So, we’re going to practice here, already. Pressing away from the Earth. Finding this yielding sensation and then drawing the
shoulders away from the ears. So, if you’re collapsed here, this is an example of the negatory. See if you can press away. Create space. Neck nice and long. Then stack knees directly
underneath the hip points. Press into the tops of the feet. (easy listening music) Inhale in. Exhale, lift the knees, let them hover. Inhale lower. Exhale, lift the knees, let them hover. See if you can maintain
the space in the shoulders. So, if you’re here, and
you’re trying to lift… I have no power there. It sucks, so badly. So, maintain the space you
created here and lift the knees. Breathing out. Lower as you breathe in. Let’s do two more. Exhale, lift! It doesn’t have to be a big lift. Just nice and low. Inhale with the bottom. Exhale, draw the navel up, lift the knees! This time stay here. Notice that shake, that heat, that prana that starts to flow. And we feel like, ok… From the crown of the head
to the tip of the tailbone, I’m alive and awake! And I’m pressing up and
out of my foundation, cultivating all of this
energy into my center, and gathering it up in my core to create a full body experience. Great, slowly release. Curl the toes under, take
a seat back, and rest. Shake it off! Maybe massage the wrists, rotate
one way and then the other. And then we’ll return to all fours. So that same integration of
the center, the core energy is now what we’re going
to bring our awareness to in Downward-Facing Dog. So we’ll come back to all
fours, when you’re ready. Send the hips up high. Nice and long in the side body. Now same thing that you did on all fours, press away from your yoga mat. So you can bend the knees
and literally look forward. Press away. Bend the knees as generously
as you need to, here and then engage the belly. Draw the navel up towards the spine. Great, from here, we’ll
lift the right leg up high. See if you can notice your
lower belly growing soft, here. And see if you can hug the lower ribs in and engage the belly. Just like in Hovering Table. Great, from here, bend the
right knee and squeeze it in. We’re back to that Hovering
Table, as you hover. Cultivate all this energy in the core. From here, send it back, Three Legged Dog. Now, rather than thinking about stepping your right leg up and into your lunge… Think about moving your center of gravity up towards the front of your mat. Draw a big line, all the way
up and over with your center. So my center is moving, and
my leg is just following. Following, following. And then I’ll step up into it. I’m on the ball of my back foot. This is as far as I, Adrienne, made it. Maybe you made it this far. Maybe you made it this far. Just notice how far you made it. And then we’ll lower the back knee, and come up off the wrists for a second. So, you may be like, I already knew that; to connect to my center. But it’s that practice. It’s actually slowing it down
and actually thinking about, what’s moving here? Am I trying to just task master? Bring my right foot up? Or can I lead with my center, I guess, is what I’m trying to say. Can I cultivate this energy in the belly so that I’m actually
taking my center forward and the leg just comes to follow. Let’s try on the other side. Plant the palms, step the right toes back, lift the hips, Downward-Facing Dog. Go through your checklist, foundation. That action, drawing the
shoulders away from the ears, pressing away from the Earth. Then when you’re ready,
lift the leg up high. Bring your awareness, cultivate
energy, to your center. This radiating ball of light, right here. Navel to spine. Or maybe by the solar
plexus, or just above. Then squeeze the left knee, up and in. Hover here. Remember that Hovering Cat-Cow. Hoo-hoo-hoo! Awakening full body! Then take it all the way back up. Then here we go! We’re gonna imagine taking
our center of gravity all the way forward. Think up and over. Center is moving forward. Center first, leg just comes to follow. And then I’ll step it up. Great. Just notice where you made it today. Smile, lower the back knee,
and come off the wrists. So really paying attention
to the alignment, kind of that action
and alignment marriage, so that you’re creating
a full body experience. So that you’re not just trying to sling one body part up to the front
of your mat for the Lunge. But rather, moving as one
connected part, right? So rather than all these
moving parts, one moving part. Ok, we’ll plant the palms,
curl the toes under, send it back one more
time, Downward-Facing Dog. One thing that I think really
helps with this transition for me, and this overall integration of core, to my limbs, and moving as one moving, breathing part are these Downward Dog to Plank hurdles. Now, these can be… You can take a break for a second. These can be tough if
you’re new to the practice because they’re very strengthening, they do rely on upper body. Uhh.. Body building! But I love them because,
for that very same reason they’re not just about
building strength in the arms. It’s really about cultivating strength from the soles of your feet, all the way through the awareness of the crown. So, this is how it goes. We’ll just do a couple. And then you can practice on your own. We’ll come to Downward-Facing Dog. Go through your checklist. Find your breath. Press away from your yoga mat. Careful not to lock the elbows. A little soft buoyancy here, is helpful. And soften in the knees,
speaking of buoyancy. Find a little bounce here. Come onto the toes, and
lift the hips up high. Draw a line with your center,
all the way up and over. As if it were climbing
or jumping over a hurdle, soaring over a hurdle. Then you might have to
widen your alignment here, so you come into a nice Plank. Breathe in, then same thing. Draw a line with your center. So imagine if I had a big flashlight, hanging from my navel,
here, with a little bell. You would see it travel up and over. Don’t worry about getting
the heels down, here. Worry about, am I moving from my center. Up and over. Great full body strengthener, to Plank. Then up and over, back. Downward-Facing Dog. Engage navel to spine. And back! Holy Smokes, let’s do one more. Navel draws in and up. To Plank. And in and up. Draw a line back up and over the hurdle. Downward-Facing Dog. Great! Take a deep breath in. Deep breath out as you lower the knees. And shake it off! So, that attention to detail
in the action alignment… That creating space in
the Downward-Facing Dog literally in the side
body and the shoulders. Finding that inner spiral in the thighs. You can go check out the
foundations of Downward-Facing Dog to go a little more in depth, there. And, again, just thinking about if you can move from your center. Moving from your center, so that your center is actually moving first and then the leg comes to follow. Your leg might not get all the way up when you’re moving from your center. So you need to be where
your body is, today. You need to be with your
body, and be on your own team. And if that’s the case,
and it only comes to here and you’re moving with your center. Take your hand, gracefully,
step the foot up. Yeah? Cool! So, together we’re working on transitions. We’ll do more yoga tips, more transitions as the weeks grow long. Free yoga videos every Wednesday. I love it when people as questions. I love that we’re having a conversation. You know, I always say that
this channel is, what it is because of the conversation
that we’re having makes it special, makes it different, and it really inspires me,
and hopefully inspires you to actually keep returning to your mat. To have an actual experience,
instead of this whole… (inaudible whoosh noises) So, awesome work everyone. Thanks for the questions. Thanks for the conversation. I’ll see you next week! Take good care. Namaste. (easy listening music)

100 thoughts on “Yoga Tips – Transitions – Down Dog to Lunge

  1. I'm definitely going to practice this transition, integrating it to my daily practice. But I'm scared I'll hurt my ankles and toes =$ I don't know why, this is what I felt while watching the video. Any advice ?

  2. Thank you Adriene!! I have been struggling with this a lot, I even got my husband to move my legs for me a couple of times so I could "feel" the movement but this video has really helped ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Didn't think about the transition like that……. this is quite helpful. I will practice this.
    Thank you Adriene!!!!!
    Love from Trinidad <3 <3 <3

  4. Thanks for this one Adrienne, something I struggle with. Maybe I always will but will keep on practising those hurdles. ๐Ÿ’•

  5. This was awesome. I love the reminder of core to extremity. In addition if love to see any pigeon transitions. Especially for more beginners. Thank Adriene!

  6. Thank you, Adriene! I've always had issues of just slinging my leg in this transition, just to get through class. The reminder of full-body awareness is so helpful! I love this channel and all the magic that happens in the exchange here.

  7. Hello! I am an undergraduate nursing student from a university in New Jersey. I am currently conducting a study on the relationship between yoga practice and stress. If you are a student, please consider taking my survey at this link: Thank you so much in advance!

  8. awesome tips.
    I myself have got some problems doing this transition cuz my body starts shaking and I feel pain in my wrists.
    I wasn't able to do it at first that I can do it now kind of making me feel good.I hope with whole lot practice my pain disappear.
    thanks lovely Adriene.

  9. That kicked my butt! Must have too much love around the belly! I am enjoying the month of yoga foundation calendar. I really like your stripped pants.

  10. I was one of those people who made the mindless swing of the leg up into the lunge… and would often need to stop and adjust! Thanks for this Adriene… I will be more mindful from now on! <3

  11. Thank you Adriene for this video,,, i have been struggling with the transition – down dog to lunge,,, this video has def helped me,,, keep up the great work,,, your instructions are the best…

  12. This is super helpful and really nice to know that this is a common thing to struggle with. I kept wondering why something so simple was so hard for me. Thanks for making this video!

  13. Thank you so much for this Adriene! This was my very first of your videos. I have been practicing for 10 years and have been a (very) part-time teacher for 8. I have been so focused on the 'pieces' of yoga that I forgot about the organic, holistic beauty of moving as one organism. This video reminded me to move with my whole body and to remember where my core is. THANK YOU!

  14. Thank you for this video. I've been having trouble with this transition. I learned first that I needed to move my center. That was really helpful. Second that using my hand is okay too.

  15. Is this our first practice for beginners in Yoga Camp? if so, I think you picked a perfect beginning for us :). Either way I learned a lot from the video, & thank you for your fun tutelage Adriene! Namaste :).

  16. Hi Adriene. Am new to yoga and am enjoying your 30 day yoga camp but this move floored me. I now realise flinging body parts forward was the issue .

  17. Hello Adriene! Thanks so much for this video. I have an issue no one else has mentioned. I don't have enough vertical room to make this move. I'm 5'2' and a smallish person. I've been doing yoga home practice on and off for years, and nearly every day for the last three months, so I think I know the breakdown of the transition – but I can't execute it. When I transition, it's not that my foot won't go far enough – it's that there's nowhere for my leg to go. My knee is up at my chest and my foot is grazing my mat. Grabbing my foot wouldn't work because again, there's not enough vertical room to go forward. I always end up on my knees and then bring my leg forward from there. Could it be my arms are just too short to do this? Thank you for your wonderful videos!

  18. This was really amazing. especially the downward dog into plank. A really good upper body strengthener. At the moment my foot lands below my hands, I'm scared I'll knee myself in the face but I will definitely revisit.

  19. YES! this video was really helpful with getting my downward facing dog, and I can finally do the 3 – legged splits comfortably! thank soo much for this video.

  20. Hi Adriene, thanks so much for the advice in this video. I was wondering whether or not it's safe to lift my wrists and palms off the floor (I.e. supporting myself on my fingertips) towards the end of this transition? Even when moving from my core I just can't seem to bring my foot right between my hands without lifting myself a bit higher off the ground. I am short so I'm wondering if my arms aren't long enough or if it will eventually come in time? Thanks for your help! ๐Ÿ™‚

  21. Thanks Adriene for doing this video. My leg always get stuck halfway…and it still does. But everything with time and practice.

  22. Love this video! I have some trouble to do this transition so I will try it next time this transition comes up in your 30 days yoga with Adrienne! I just finished day 6! โ˜บ take care!

  23. That was awesome! Now I can transition more gracefully, with greater body awareness and activationโ€”All from a nicely stimulating 12-minute session. Thank you!

  24. Great video Adriene :)…. When in downward dog, how far apart should my feet be? Is shoulder width apart okay? In the video it seems to me like your feet are closer together…? I appreciate your help with this ๐Ÿ™‚

  25. This transition video has been so helpful. Thank you. Especially useful is that in addition to reminding us to "be mindful" you explain exactly what we should be mindful of – engaging the core, moving the core in a straight line, etc. I really liked the example of having a flashlight tied to my center and watching the light move. Thanks!

  26. I came here to get some tips before starting my first yoga class next Monday. A prerequisite for the "basics" class is to be able to do a down dog, and transition into a lunge. I am only able to do this on my tippy toes, so I am not sure if they will allow me to join their basics class :/ I tried so hard to do this flat footed, but I am just not flexible enough. Do you have any tips/ stretches I can do to improve that flexibility? Thank you!

  27. This was helpful and fun. Thank you for explaining this so clearly :). Do you have any other videos that use yoga hurdles? This is something I'd like to work with.

  28. The pose at 7.03 – when I do it, my whole body weight crashes into my knee on the ground. How can I keep it balanced?

  29. Adriene, just want to say to you, you are an awesome teacher… thank you for all you share and do. learning so much with you!
    Sarah (uk)

  30. Hey Adriene! I've been wondering if you could do a chaturanga how-to video. I've been practising yoga for many years now but have always felt like I don't have the hang of it, and as a fibromyalgia lady I'm scared of doing it wrong and have thus kind of just done belly to cobra all these years. It would be a real victory for me to understand how to properly do it, and I'd prefer from someone I already trust. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  31. you've got to share where you get all your cute leggings and yoga gear. been doing yoga camp and love love love the gray skinny legs and these leggings are awesome too

  32. Thank you for making this video! Transitions are so hard and confusing to me. They are always done quickly in my class, and my forward leg never seems to end up far enough, while everyone around me seems to get it right at first try. I haven't been able do the transitions smoothly, but I will practice with your video, you explain so well, thank you!

  33. Thank you! I've just watched it and I've just practised it and I am now able to bring my leg nearly between my hands!

  34. I find that I am not able to put my back foot down flat while my palms are flat on the floor. Is it ok for me to do it up on the ball of my foot rather than flat?

  35. THIS is the video I needed. Thank you! Thought I was doing something wrong when I couldn't "swing" my whole leg through. Just needed to be where my body wanted me to be. ๐Ÿ™‚

  36. Hi, thank you for this video. When I go from downward dog to lung my knee gets suck on the outside of my arm instead of landing in the centre and it's totally uncoordinated and weird, I would love some help with this. If you can understand what I mean. Thank you Adriene xo

  37. Hi Adriene, this video is so great and it has helped me very much. I love it! I was wondering if you would be willing to explain how to transition from plank to upward facing dog. I have seen other YWA videos where you do a half pushup and the move to upward dog. I would like to understand how to make that transition. Any tips you may have would be much appreciated! Thank you!

  38. Thanks to whoever asked this question. And thanks Adriene for explaining the transition. I thought I was the only person who couldn't get their leg in the right position without using my hand. Feels great to know I'm not alone and how to get stronger. Thanks again.

  39. You're a wonderful teacher and your instructions are spot on! How long have you been teaching for? I'm not nearly as eloquent as you are, but I hope to be one day. Thank you for inspiring me.

  40. Why is it that it feels as if I have no room for my foot to go forward? I can only reach half way, perhaps it will get better as my core improves?

  41. This was great! I have always had trouble with this transition. Thanks for the help and all of your videos. I absolutely love them!

  42. Thank you!
    I also notice an issue when moving through downward dog, lunges and warrior poses. It seems like sometimes my position is too wide (legs too far apart from each other or my hands), and I need to keep adjusting quite a lot. For example, going to warrior 1 from lunge, my legs are definitely too far away from each other, and then returning to plank and downward dog my legs and arms have too much space in between, so I need adjust so that the downward dog and plank are actually different poses ๐Ÿ˜€ any advice on this? My arms specifically are quite long.

  43. Wow, that was amazing, Adriene. It felt great becoming aware of my center and actually moving it forward! I love coupling your videos with my freeletics training. Strength is nothing without flexibility and concentration. Namaste!

  44. I'm so grateful for you Adriene, I really struggle with this transition. I have a spinal condition and have some weakness in my lower body. Now I know to work more on my core alignment then that's what I'll do every practice. I've started deepening my pigeon and I'm up to 12 deep breaths lying down and 12 sitting up with my extended leg bent, foot up to the ceiling. I can also grab my toes I'm seated forward bend. So if I've managed to achieve that in 5-6 weeks, you bet I'm going to nail that transition!! Thanks so much beautiful, you're really valued and appreciated ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿ’–๐Ÿ’–๐Ÿ’–๐Ÿ’–

  45. This is literally what I've been waiting for! Finally a video that shows me the transition from down dog to low lunge. And the idea of moving with the center and moving the leg along opens up a new way for my practice. Thank you so much!

  46. When I am in low lunge position and I try and put my hands flat on the floor, my knee is in my chest and I literally can't lower my body far enough to get my hands flat on either side of my foot because my knee won't allow me to get my hands flat. (if that makes sense) . I can not place my hands flat onto the ground while in the lunge position. What is the modifications for tall, long legged people?

  47. Would love a video on transition from Chaturanga to Updog – I always feel like my toes get caught up in some weird position!

  48. My main problem is that my belly and chest are too big. I canโ€™t even touch my palms to the ground when in a lunge with my foot aligned with my hands. Bad combination of large midsection and short arms.

  49. OMG Adriene! I shifted my center a bit too far and just crashed my head into the wall in front of me! Yeah. CRASH! (Turning away from the wall on my mat, trying again, opposite direction!)

  50. This video was so helpful!! Iโ€™ve been watching your channel on and off for at least two years now and Iโ€™ve finally committed my self to following a long at least two days a week! You are amazing and your instructions are so clear that I feel comfortable enough not to always have my eyes on the screen!! Keep up the great work!

  51. This one was randomly up on my You Tube today and was exactly what I needed. Thoroughly enjoyed ๐Ÿ™‚ The thread thru twists are amazing stretches! Thank-you!

  52. So, last night when I worked my way through this video, I said to myself, "I can't do this." This morning, when I tried again on my own, I said, "I have a short waist and long legs and I can't do this." TONIGHT, I DID IT!!!

  53. I am really struggeling with my left leg, watched many videoโ€™s but I always come back to you. You are real. And you give an integrated explanation. Thats wy I love YWA so mutch. You are the best. I keep practising and will not forget my center. Its the yourney that makes the difference.

  54. This was SO MUCH HARDER than I thought that it would be, but I LOVED it! It was challenging. It was difficult. But I feel ALIVE. And I feel encouraged, like I will make it all the way up there one day. I CAN do yoga. Yoga is for everyone. Yoga is for ME. โค

  55. Been struggling and wondering about the reason why I simply can't do something that seems so simple. And it's really reassuring I'm not the only one. I'm really glad that Adriene created a little practice, explaining reason and what to focus on – even way back then!

  56. Just a while ago i couldn't land my feet anywhere near my hands, but after watching this and knowing the trick, i was able to land it beside my hands!! Altho not as aligned as adriene's but better than yesterday and earlier today. Thanks so much! I'll practice more each day.

    P.s. i can't stay long on the hovering knees position. :((( i think I have to work very harder on that

  57. Aww I missed this! I had to leave for a bit because tests and finals and presentations were coming out of my ears. I sacrificed a lot to get through to the next quarter and Iโ€™m so happy I made it. But Iโ€™m here now and starting at the very beginning again just to get back into the groove. I can really tell that I lost a bit of my yoga mojo, but no worries. The worst possible thing would be to never start again. I honestly love yoga, and when Iโ€™m in my groove and constantly practicing, I feel a world of difference. Namaste ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿพ

  58. I introduced yoga to my students 3 years ago when I discovered everything it did for me. We had an actual instructor come once a week and teach, but her schedule changed and we found another, who then became ill and long story short…I realized if I got the right connections I could access Yoga with Adriene on You tube! Our tech department came through and the kids love watching her and doing yoga! Starting them early, 30+ 6 to 12 year olds! This one is a fantastic video because she is so good at explaining everything and no put downs….I have been following her for over 5 years now and I don't think she can make a bad video lol!

  59. I'm new to yoga, and your videos are filling a huge gap/need for me. Dude …. THANK YOU for all of the work you give and for modeling self-kindness. You just told me to "be on your own team." I love that. I'm super appreciative of your tips, instruction and flows. Thanks, Adriene! Wishing you continued success.

  60. I love this breakdown and I will practice until I can accomplish this position. I have one question. I can transition into downward facing dog but when I try to lift my right leg up and back to transition to a lunge my left quad cramps and I have to come back to downward dog. Am I missing something or do I just need to practice until I can do this? Thank you for this practice it is helping me so much!

  61. Thank you for making this video and guidance about raising awareness of our own body. I struggled with this for a long while and now i understand that I tend to think about 'swinging' my leg forward to meet my hands and this causes me to go "haywire" ie. hips were swinging out and landing with a thump and get all exhausted after a few rounds of sun salutations. The focus and reference points were more clear now from your pointers. With all my heart , thank you Adriene!

  62. Adrienne, I tell people all about you! You Re my yoga class! So easy to learn from you. You are real, no judgement, no language that I have to look up after the fact.
    Would definitely love to see more instructional video like this one. Itโ€™s slow and gives the basics, once mastered we can go from there….. keep up the good work girl!

  63. I think I need to accept that my arms are just way too short to pull this off. There isn't enough space between me and the ground to fit my leg through.

  64. Thanks so much! Been doing yoga at home for a couple months and this was a sticking point. This has inspired me to work on it.

  65. My biggest struggle is that my hands slip after a while in down dog. Itโ€™s so frustrating and I find myself struggling and putting too much pressure in my hands to stay up.

  66. I think it's awesome that we can have a discussion here too. It's super chill in this comments section. My wrists really felt this one. As always thank you Adriene.

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