Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward Facing Dog) is one of the most recognized and often done yoga poses during a yoga class.
Adho- Forward | Mukha-Face | Svana- Dog
This asana is pronounced as Ah-doh MOO-kah shvah-NAS-anna. Adho mukha svanasana posture replicates the way dogs naturally stretch their entire bodies, hence the name downward facing dog pose.
This is a standing and mild inversion pose that builds strength while stretching the whole body. You just need a yoga mat and lots of willing power. Find out the benefits before we move into the practice.
Benefits of Downward Facing Dog
- This pose rejuvenates and energizes your entire body.
- Calms your mind and provides relief from a headache, insomnia, fatigue, anxiety, and depression.
- Regular practice of this pose can improve digestion, back pain, asthma.
- The blood flow to the brain due to this posture calms the nervous system, improves memory and concentration, and releases stress.
- It lengthens the spine, strengthens the muscles of the chest increasing lung capacity.
- It brings strength throughout the body and deeply stretches your hamstrings, shoulders, calves, hands, and spine while it builds strength in your arms, shoulders, and legs.
This pose shouldn’t be practised by those with an injury to the back, arms, or shoulders; and suffering from high blood pressure. Moreover, practitioners suffering from severe carpal tunnel syndrome, eye or inner ear infections and late-term pregnancy should avoid this practice. If you have any recent medical concerns, talk with your doctor before start practising this yoga pose.
Steps to do perfect Downward Facing Dog Pose
- Sit on your heels, stretch your arms forward on the mat and lower your head.
- Pushing your hands and strengthening your legs, slowly raise your hips.
- Press firmly through your palms and rotate the inner elbows towards each other.
- It will look like an inverted V-shape.
- Keep your neck lengthened by touching the ears with your open arms.
- Hold this pose as long as you can, relax your head and take long deep breaths. Look towards the navel.
- Now, exhale and gently bending your knees, come back to the original position.
- Relax for few seconds and repeat the above procedure for 7-8 times.
Regular practice of this pose will warm, strengthen and stretch your whole body. It’s always advisable to warm up your calves and arms properly before you do this asana. Practice a few rounds of this pose daily to increase the blood flow and energy while calming your mind and increasing your concentration! The benefits are not just limited to the mat, it extends the benefits to all areas of your life. You can also include this pose during your Sun Salutation practice.
Enjoy your yoga practice and if you feel this article is for you then share your experience with us by commenting below. We would be happy to hear from you!
“Yoga is the perfect opportunity to be curious about who you are”- Jason Crandell