Downward Facing Dog Pose - Adho Mukha Svanasana
About Downward Facing Dog Pose
If attempting super flexible poses seems like a daunting task, start with this beginner’s posture. The Downward Facing Dog Pose is a yoga classic, and is one of the first few poses taught to yoga beginners. It focuses on strengthening your entire body, with a special emphasis on fortifying the muscles in your arms.
Step by Step Instructions
Don your comfortable yoga wear, position yourself in a quiet area with minimal distractions, and prepare your mind and body to perform this asana.
- Start on your hands and knees. Make sure that your hands are directly below your shoulders, and your knees are positioned directly below the hips.
- Take a deep breath, and as you inhale, tuck your toes in under your heels.
- As you exhale, slowly lift your hips upwards. Make sure that your hands stay firmly positioned on the yoga mat. Assume an upside down ‘V’ position, or a downward facing dog position.
- Try to keep your heels firmly pressed against the yoga mat. However, as a beginner you can allow your heels to lift up off the floor a little.
- Hold the position for as long as possible, or for at least five deep breaths if you are a beginner.
Health Benefits of the Downward Facing Dog Pose
Physically attempting this pose will make you realize that this posture effectively engages your entire body. Its health benefits thus, target all areas of your body.
- It enhances the body’s blood circulation system, and ensures that all areas of the body get an adequate well-oxygenated blood supply.
- It not only stretches the muscles in your arms, thighs and calves, it also elongates your spine and relieves back pain.
- Leads to stronger arms, shoulders, back and legs
- The downward facing dog pose is an inversion pose, which alludes to its ability to reduce stress and soothe your nervous system.
- This posture is believed to enhance the functioning of your digestive system.
- Practicing the downward facing dog pose may also help to alleviate menopausal symptoms.
Things to Remember!
This pose might prove to be a tricky one for yoga beginners who have tight shoulders. If attempting the pose proves to be painful, do not push yourself any further, you might injure yourself! Modify the pose by placing your hands on an elevated surface to decrease the pressure on your wrists. Additionally you can start by performing this pose on your elbows and then gradually work your way down to attempting it on your wrists.
If you suffer from carpel tunnel syndrome, arthritis or are in the late stages of your pregnancy, you are advised to refrain from practicing this pose.