How to Achieve the Downward Facing Dog Pose

Adho Mukha Svanasana aka Downward Facing Dog is one of the most frequently performed yoga poses. It is often used as the resting pose between sequences or transitions to more advanced poses. However, this pose is a full body pose and requires activation of all major muscle groups.  

Young woman doing yoga in the park on an eco friendly yoga mat on green grass wearing yoga athleisure wear in a downward facing dog pose

Benefits

  • Relieves fatigue and infuses energy
  • Relieves pain and stiffness in the heels and legs
  • Strengthens ankles and tones legs
  • Removes tension and stiffness in the shoulder blades
  • Rejuvenates blood flow

The Pose

  • Beginners can start on your hands and knees, with your hands aligned under your shoulders and your knees under your hips
  • On the exhale, tuck your toes under and walk your hands forward about a palm's distance in front of your shoulders 
  • Press the hands against the floor, spread the fingers open, and press the knuckles down
  • With hands and toes planted, lift your hips as you straighten your legs and draw your heels toward the floor. 
  • Widen the collarbones and rotate the eyes of the elbows forward
  • Press your chest toward your thighs and bring your head between your arms. 
  • Lengthen up through your tailbone and keep your thighs slightly internally rotated, finding a neutral pelvis. 
  • Lift the kneecaps
  • Rotate the pubic bone in and up between the thighs
  • Tighten the core toward your spine 
  • Gaze between your feet or toward your navel

Breaths: Aim to hold between 5-10 breaths

Avoid: If you have low blood, shoulder injury, or torn hamstrings


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