downward facing dog (adho mukha svanasana)

by December 20, 2011

The infamous downward facing dog. This pose is a simple yet great way to lengthen the spine and get the blood flowing again without much movement. It has a way of revitalizing the entire body by stretching out a large group of muscles that flow from the feet all the way to the fingers; also providing the benefit of an inversion without requiring a great deal of strength or balance. Being inverted allows blood to flow in different directions than normal and provides recycling and oxidation that is known to awaken the body.

Use this pose anywhere at anytime. You don’t need to be in a special outfit or worried about sweating, this is a simple asana with some real benefits.

Downward Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana)

Begin on your hands and knees. Stack the shoulders in line with the wrists and the hips in line with the knees. Take a few deep breaths here in and out of the nose to become comfortable and calm the body. On the beginning of the final inhale tuck the toes and lift the knees off of the floor taking the hips into the air coming into Downward Facing Dog.

Work towards grounding the heels to the floor. Make sure the hands are placed firmly on the earth, fingers spread wide apart and the wrists parallel to the front of your mat or area you are facing.

Draw the shoulder blades onto the back as if they were to touch let the neck hang long. Reach the hips high into the air and find length in the spine. Take the focus point to the naval or between the legs.

Removes Fatigue and brings back lost energy.
Increases blood flow to the brain.
Alleviates stiff shoulders and legs.
Strengthens and tones legs arms and back muscles.

If you like this pose then check out the Down Dog Crunch exercise for a little more movement.