Adho mukha svanasana is part of the surya namaskara (sun salutation) series in many types of yoga. It serves as a transitional resting pose and is often one of the first poses someone new to yoga learns.
Traditionally, this asana is believed to activate a number of the chakras, including the manipura and ajna chakras. Activating the manipura chakra through adho mukha svanasana is thought to dispel fear and insecurity, while the ajna chakra stimulates perception and inspiration.
As an inverted pose, adho mukha svanasana gets blood and body fluids flowing in the opposite direction by reversing the action of gravity. The inversion is also thought to provide a different perspective on an emotional level, boosting confidence.