Downward Facing Dog Tips
Practising Downward Facing Dog or Adho Mukha Svanasana to give it its Sanskrit name, is probably the one pose we do more than any other pose.
So let us take you through the steps on how to feel great in your Downdog and how to get the most out of the pose.
(AH-doh MOO-kah shvah-NAHS-anna)
adho = downward
mukha = face
svana = dog
Downward Facing dog may seem like one of the most basic poses in a yoga practice. In many of our classes, it’s one of the first asanas (or poses) you’ll do.
The pose has so many benefits. Downward Dog can help rid us of those little niggles in the body and bring blood flow to the brain. It also strengthens, lengthens, and energizes every one of your muscles.
Here are 5 benefits to practising Downward Facing Dog.
- Strengthens the arms and the shoulders.
- Tones the core and waist.
- Lengthens the hamstrings and calves.
- Brings blood flow to the brain.
- Stretches the spine and strengthens the back.
Practising Downward Facing Dog
You can do this pose anywhere you can lay out a yoga mat.
Come to your hands and knees with the wrists underneath the shoulders and the knees underneath the hips.
Curl your toes under and push back through your hands to lift your hips and straighten your legs.
If you have tight hamstrings then bend the knees to allow the spine to lengthen.
Spread your fingers and ground down from the forearms into the fingertips.
Outwardly rotate your upper arms to broaden the collarbones.
Let your head hang and move your shoulder blades away from your ears towards your hips.
Engage your quadriceps strongly to take the burden of your body's weight off your arms. This action goes a long way toward making this a resting pose.
Rotate your thighs inward, keep your tail high, and sink your heels towards the floor.
Check that the distance between your hands and feet is correct by coming forward to a plank position.
The distance between the hands and feet should be the same in these two poses. Do not step the feet toward the hands in down dog in order the get the heels to the floor.
Exhale and bend your knees to release and come back to your hands and knees.
For many years I have enjoyed an active lifestyle, this included rock climbing, mounting biking and windsurfing now days its all about the yoga, swimming or going to the gym, and along side all of these I take a great interest in the foods that I consume. I love to research new recipes and know how all the different whole foods that I am using are going to benefit me not only with my physical body but also my mental body. I love to share and inspire people to be come healthier be it through yoga, or adopting a cleaner whole foods eating plan.