Downward-Facing Dog with Knee to Forehead

Definition - What does Downward-Facing Dog with Knee to Forehead mean?

Downward-facing dog with knee to forehead is an intermediate variation of the popular downward-facing dog pose. It is often practiced in tandem with one-legged downward-facing dog as part of a vinyasa flow. Downward-facing dog is one of the best known poses in yoga and one of first postures beginners learn. Adding the knee-to-forehead move in this variation will help to take the pose deeper.

To begin, start with the hands and knees on the mat. Then straighten the elbows and tuck the toes then lift the knees off the ground. Gently straighten the legs while reaching the sit bones up and back. Draw the lower abdomen in and up to support the spine. Keep the gaze between the feet or toward the belly. On an inhale bring one knee to the forehead. Hold for a cycle of six to eight breaths then repeat with the opposite knee.

Yogapedia explains Downward-Facing Dog with Knee to Forehead

Downward-facing dog with knee to forehead strengthens and tones the shoulders, arms and legs as well as lengthens the spine. This asana is believed to relieve stress, calm the mind and energize the body. As an inversion, it gets blood flowing in the opposite direction by reversing the action of gravity, and nourishing the brain and upper body. On an emotional level, this inversion helps to boost confidence.

Additional benefits of downward-facing dog with knee to forehead include:

  • Strengthens the skeletal system
  • Opens the hips
  • Strengthens the core
  • Increases flexibility in the back and shoulders
  • Strengthens the wrists, arms, legs and shoulders
  • Reduces stress, insomnia and headaches
  • Improves circulation
  • Energizes the entire body

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