Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose) : How to Do It, Benefits, Step by Step Instructions & Precautions

Adho Mukha Svanasana

Translation  Downward facing dog pose

Adho mukha svanasana is performed in almost every type of yoga practice be it Ashtanga vinyasa hatha yoga , Vikram yoga , Iyenger yoga etc. It may be done in slight different e.g. In the sequence of Ashtanga vinyasa it is one of the most frequently practiced posture throughout the sequence,  it is part of Sun salutation A and Sun salutation B as a resting and restoration posture which allows practitioner to regulate the breathing for maintaining the physical, physiological,  and mental calmness.

This Asana is also used as the transition of all seated poses in Ashtanga vinyasa yoga style.

In Hatha yoga this posture could be seen in different variation Named as Parvatasana(mountain pose) also part of traditional Surya namskar practice.

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose) – Method 1

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose) Step by Step Instructions:

  • Start from the position Marjari asana(table top position) warm up and mobilize your spine by doing cat and cow stretch
  • Hold cat position as rounded lower back, navel sucked up, tail bone pointing down and forward.
  • Tuck the toes keeping the feet and knees hip width apart and lift the knees up while pushing the heels toward the floor
  • Maintain the hands under shoulders and fingers spread enough to have wide base
  • Push through the hands to shift the body weight backward
  • And keep your gaze to the navel
  • Hold the position for as Long as you want to
  • Learn to regulate especially your breathing and become aware of your posture how it physically feels e.g. notice the stretch and tension on different parts of the body like your back of the legs, shoulders, palms etc.

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose) – Method 2

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose) Step by Step Instructions:

  • From Marjari asana (table top pose) do some cat cow stretch
  • Hold your self in cow stretch where lower back is arched downward navel is toward the floor tail bone pointing back and up
  • Now keeping feet hip width wide lift the knees up and try to push heels towards floor
  • Keep your gaze either between legs, towards navel or on the tip of the nose.
  • Maintain the hands under shoulders and fingers spread enough to have wide base
  • Push through the hands to shift the body weight backward .

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose) Benefits and Influence:

  • on our Body Physically, physiologically and mentally
  • Downward facing dog is great way to begin your journey with inversion posture it allows blood to flow towards head.
  • Strengthen arms and shoulder and increases shoulder mobility at the same time.
  • Lower back pain can be avoided by performing the the pose and can also bring abdominal muscles Strength.
  • Brings flexibility to back thigh muscle (hamstrings and gluteus).
  • Stretches calf and can be therapeutic in flat foot and planter fascaitis.

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose) Precautions:

  • People with shoulder pain or impingement should be careful and not let the pressure come to shoulders rather push the hands strongly on the floor.
  • In the condition of hypertension this posture maybe modified by dropping knees down.
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