Dog Tilt Pose

Definition - What does Dog Tilt Pose mean?

Dog tilt pose is a chest-opening asana which is one of the most fundamental postures in the many schools of yoga.

From table pose, lower the abdomen toward the ground, creating an arch in the back and lifting the head with the gaze directly above. Dog tilt is usually paired with cat tilt pose, in which the core muscles are pulled in toward the spine as the back rounds.

Dog tilt pose is also known by its Sanskrit name, svanasana. An alternate name for the posture is cow pose (bitilasana).

Yogapedia explains Dog Tilt Pose

Although a simple pose, dog tilt requires precise body positioning. The knees should be directly under the hips and the hands should be directly under the shoulders. On an inhale, the sitting bones and sternum are lifted toward the sky as the belly sinks. As the back arches, the head curls gently toward the sky. When pairing dog tilt and cat tilt, the yogi should inhale into dog and exhale into cat.

Dog tilt is believed to reduce stress by releasing back tension and calming the mind, especially when paired with cat tilt. Dog tilt stretches the hips and low to middle back, stretches the neck and front of the torso, strengthens the core muscles, lengthens the spine, and stimulates internal organs, especially the kidneys and adrenal glands.

Kneeling on a blanket can protect the knees, but those with knee or wrist injuries can practice dog tilt (and cat tilt) while seated upright in a chair. Anyone with a neck injury should keep the head in line with the torso, rather than lift the gaze upward.

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