The pose replicates a dog bending forward; hence the name ‘downward facing dog’. This pose can be practised by a beginner and with all its health benefits should be included in your daily yoga practice.

Organising the Pose:-

  1. Come onto all your fours into a tabletop position with the knees right below the hips and hands under the shoulders.
  2. Exhale and lift the knees off the floor straightening them as you lift the hips towards the ceiling, straightening the elbows, forming an inverted V- shape with your body.
  3. Hands shoulder width apart, feet hip width apart, pointing straight, with the heels touching the floor.
  4. Press your palms to the floor, spread the fingers out. Widen through the shoulder blades, lengthening the neck by touching the ears to the inner arms.
  5. Eye gaze to the navel. Hold Adho Mukha Svanasana for as long as you can.
  6. Return back to the tabletop position. Relax.

DO:

  • Align the head and neck with the spine, so they are in a line
  • Engage the lower belly by drawing the navel in towards the spine

DON’T:

  • Practise this asana if you suffer from high blood pressure, carpel tunnel syndrome, weak eye capillaries, detached eye retina, diarrhoea, shoulder dislocation or injuries

BENEFITS:

  • Lengthens the spine, strengthens the muscles of the chest, thus increasing lung capacity
  • Strengthens the whole body specially the arms, shoulders, legs and feet
  • It increases circulation to the brain
  • Calms the mind and helps to relieve insomnia, fatigue and headache

It is a must to practise this powerful, most beneficial semi inversion to reap its multiple benefits.

Namaste!

Neelanjana Bharadwaj – Yoga Expert