Tri Pada Adho Mukha Svanasana

Definition - What does Tri Pada Adho Mukha Svanasana mean?

Tri pada adho mukha svanasana is a standing inversion posture that requires balance and flexibility. The name is derived from the Sanskrit, tri, meaning “three,” pada, meaning “foot” or “leg,” adho, meaning “downward,” mukha, meaning “facing,” svana, meaning “dog” and asana, meaning “pose.”

To enter this challenging asana, start in adho mukha svanasana, then step the legs together so the toes are touching. Lift one leg off the ground and extend it upward without twisting the hips. For a deeper expression of the pose, bend the knee, dropping the ankle toward the buttocks.

Tri pada adho mukha svanasana is known in English as three-legged downward-facing dog pose. The pose may also be called eka pada adho mukha svanasana (one-legged downward-facing dog pose).

Yogapedia explains Tri Pada Adho Mukha Svanasana

Tri pada adho mukha svanasana is an advanced variation of one of yoga's most basic asanas, adho mukha svanasana, more commonly known as downward-facing dog. Practicing tri pada adho mukha svanasana improves balance, calms the mind and strengthens the shoulders and arms. It also opens the chest, hip flexors and hamstrings, while stretching the quadriceps, particularly in the full expression of the pose.

Traditionally, tri pada adho mukha svanasana is useful for opening three chakras: the muladhara (root), manipura (wisdom) and ajna (third-eye) chakras. Activating muladhara provides stability and grounding, while manipura offers confidence and self-motivation. Stimulating the ajna chakra develops inner knowledge and imagination.

Beginners and those with limited flexibility can modify the pose by not raising the leg as high.

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