Downward Facing Dog – Adhomukha Svanasana

Downward Dog of one of the most famous yoga poses, yet not everyone has taken the time to learn the correct alignment that will get the benefits . Once you know how, Downward Dog becomes a rest pose. Yes that’s right, a rest pose! Learn how here.

Benefits: In downward facing dog the head is lower than the heart; this allows the
brain to be bathed in blood, calming the brain and gently stimulating the nerves. It checks heavy menstrual flow and helps to prevent hot flushes during menopause. On a purely physical level, downward facing dog stretches the entire back body, especially the arms, shoulders, hips hamstrings, calves and Achilles tendon.

Therapeutic Focus: PMS, Stress

Contraindications: Do not practice this movement in advanced stages of pregnancy

Everything Else:

  • Level:1
  • Props required:Not Required
  • Movement Type:Inversion
  • Sub Movement Type-A:Whole Body
  • Sub Movement Type-B:Strengthening
  • Main Anatomical Focus:Shoulders
  • Secondary Anatomical Focus:Hamstrings
  • Physiological Focus: Muscular System, Nervous System, Skeletal System

Step by Step Instructions:

Start by keeling in vajrasana.

Place your hands mindfully on to your mat with your fingers evenly spread.

Tuck your toes underneath, lift your sitting bones and allow them to pull 

you up and back into downward facing dog.

Once you are in downward facing dog, establish a long smooth and even
breath; inhaling for four and exhaling for four.

Now focus on the following points. Draw a clear line of energy from the
middle of your armpits, down your arms and into your palms.

Press your thumb and index finger joints firmly into your mat, spreading
and energising your fingers evenly.

Now lengthen the sides of your neck, moving the crown of your head toward
the floor. Move your scapula away from your ears and press your
deltoids into your scapula.

Turn your ischium bones upward and spread your buttocks sideways, away
from one another. Move your pelvis into a dog tilt position and
press the top of your thighs firmly on to your femur bones, creating
length and spaciousness in the spine.

Check that your feet are straight, your toes are spread evenly and your
heels are descending toward the floor.

Breathe here, feeling the whole body being stretched and opened. Notice your
prana or life force flowing through your body. Notice any points of
resistance, breathing in to them deeply.

Exhale,come down on to your hands and knees and quietly bring yourself to

kneeling in vajrasana. Connect to your breath and come in to this present moment.

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