Downward Facing Dog Is A Common Therapeutic Yoga Posture That Elongates Spinal Muscles And Rejuvenates Your Entire Body.
Downward Facing Dog-Adho Mukha Svanasana is one of the poses in the traditional Sun Salutation sequence. It’s also an excellent yoga asana all on its own. Stay in this pose anywhere from 1 to 3 minutes. Then bend your knees to the floor with an exhalation and rest in Child’s Pose.
Benefits of Downward Facing Dog
- Lengthens spinal, hamstrings, and calf muscles
- Alleviates low back pain
- Strengthens upper body, forearms and wrists
- Calms the mind and nervous system while lowering heart rate
- Can help reduce depression and anxiety
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome or other wrist injury
- Shoulder injury
- Pregnancy (check with your doctor)
- High blood pressure
Modifications within Downward Facing Dog
- Keep knees slightly bent to lengthen your spine
- Place a folded towel (folded in half) or rolled up yoga mat under your palms to alleviate wrist pain
This posture balances the Root Chakra (Muladhara), as well as the Heart Chakra (Anahata), and helps the practitioner get connected to his/her physical body in present time, while creating a sense of safety, trust, openness, and freedom.
Downward Facing Dog Step By Step
- Come to your hands and knees in a table top position. Bring your hands shoulder-width distance apart and spread your fingers wide. Continuously press the pads of your fingers into your mat in order to protect your wrists.
- With an exhale, curl your toes under and lift your knees from the floor as you make your way into an inverted “V” shape.
- Keep your knees slightly bent at first, and lengthen your spine. Engage your lower belly and pelvic floor muscles as you straighten your legs a bit more without locking them out.
- Press your inner and outer heals evenly towards the floor.
- Continue to press your finger pads into your mat as you integrate your shoulders on your back and soften your chest.
- Hold for 30 seconds to a minute and release onto your hands and knees.
Downward Facing Dog Variations