Downward-Facing Cross-Legged Pose

Definition - What does Downward-Facing Cross-Legged Pose mean?

Downward-facing cross-legged pose is a gentle posture that is supported by the use of yoga props in order to offer mental and physical relief.

Begin by placing a low bench, chair, stack of cushions or yoga blocks around the height of the breast bone while seated in a cross-legged position. Ensure the body is properly supported and seated on the sit bones, with a cushion, blanket roll or folded yoga mat underneath. Then lean over the prop in front of the body, keeping the sit bones and hips on the floor, and head and neck relaxed. Allow the hands to rest at the sides of the body or fold the arms in front of the body on the supportive prop. While breathing deeply, hold the pose for two minutes.

Downward-facing cross-legged pose is also known by its Sanskrit name, adho mukha swastikasana.

Yogapedia explains Downward-Facing Cross-Legged Pose

Downward-facing cross-legged pose is an easy pose for beginners that offers a gentle stretch to the hips and low back. As flexibility increases over time, yogis can adjust the height of the stacked cushions or blocks in order to customize the intensity of the stretch.

This posture relieves back and neck strain, and is considered by many to be a pose that offers stress relief. In addition, it helps improve blood circulation and alleviate premenstrual stress symptoms. Some yogis also find that it eliminates headaches and symptoms of nausea, vomiting and morning sickness.

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