Downward Facing Dog - Adho Mukha Svanasana

Builds strength, flexibility and awareness; stretches the spine and hamstrings; rests the heart. Start on your hands and knees. Keep your legs about hip width apart and your arms shoulder width apart. Your middle fingers should be parallel, pointing straight ahead. Roll your elbows so that the eye or inner elbow is facing forward. Inhale and curl your toes under, as if getting ready to stand on your toes. Exhale and straighten your legs; push upward with your arms.

The goal is to lengthen the spine while keeping your legs straight and your feet flat on the ground. However, in the beginning it`s okay to bend the knees a bit and to keep your heels raised.

The important thing is to work on lengthening the spine. Don`t let your shoulders creep up by your ears -- keep them down. Weight should be evenly distributed between your hands and feet. Hold the position for a few breaths. Come down on and exhale. Repeat several times, synchronizing with your breath: up on the exhale and down on the inhale.