Downward-Facing Dog Pose

Adho Mukha Svanasana

Downward-Facing Dog Pose

What is Downward-Facing Dog Pose?

Downward-facing dog pose, or adho mukha svanasana, is a foundational yoga asana that requires flexibility and upper body strength. In this asana, the body forms an inverted “V” with the feet and hands pressing into the ground and the hips pushing upward.

Instructions

  1. Begin with your hands underneath your shoulders and your knees underneath your hips.
  2. Spread your fingers and apply even weight into each knuckle and your entire palm.
  3. Lift your hips upward on an exhale, coming off your knees.
  4. Look between your arms toward your naval.
  5. Breathe as you hold the pose.

Cautions

  • Keep your feet hips distance apart (do not overestimate the width of your hips)
  • Avoid during late-term pregnancy
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome (modify by resting your weight on your forearms instead of hands)

Benefits of Downward-Facing Dog Pose

  • Stretches the hamstrings, calves, hands, and feet
  • Strengthens the arms and thighs
  • Energizes the body
  • Lengthens the spine
  • Increases blood circulation to the head

Downward-Facing Dog Pose Details

Sanskrit Name
Adho Mukha Svanasana
Pronunciation
ahd-ho mook-hah svahn-nah-sah-nah
Pose Level
Beginner
Yoga Type
Ashtanga Yoga, Bikram Yoga, Hatha Yoga, Iyengar Yoga
Drishti
Nabhichakra (Navel)
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