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  1. Hi Candace, I've been doing yoga for quite some time now, as well as lift weights, hike and run. I like to think of myself as strong, I can hold myself in a headstand with no pain, and do other more complex poses than Down Dog with little to no discomfort, but when I do Down Dog for more than a few seconds (such as in Sun Salutations) my shoulders hurt, a lot. Now, being a runner and someone who hikes difficult trails often, as well as lift weights, I understand that sometimes we need to 'push through the pain', but I feel with yoga the practice is different, I feel that if my body is telling me to back off - I should. So my questions are: Should I be holding myself in this position although it is painful? Most classes and flows have you in Down Dog repetitively and for long periods of time. Is there a position I could be doing instead? Are there certain weight lifting regimins that I could be trying to strengthen muscles if this is the cause of the pain? Really, any information about how to help me be more comfortable in this pose or how to avoid it would be greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance, Ashley