I’ve been practicing yoga for a long time, but it wasn’t until I started attending studio classes that I did Downward Dog for the first time. Then I quickly realized that Downward Dog was a foundational — but challenging — yoga posture. And it took years before I felt like Downward Dog could be a “resting posture,” as it is referred to in some classes.

Earlier this year, I experienced an autoimmune flair that knocked me down. I went from feeling strong and being very active, to feeling run down and having to rebuild my yoga practice from the ground up. I can’t tell you how humbling it was to realize, I couldn’t do Downward Dog because it hurt to put pressure on my hands and I couldn’t lift my hands over my head.

Modifications became my friend and I learned a few tricks for rebuilding strength and establishing a strong foundation so that was able to achieve the full expression, my Downward Dog was even stronger than before. In the video below, I’ll share with you how I did it.