Adho – Forward; Mukha – Face; Svana - Dog
The asana is pronounced as A-doh MOO-kah shvah-NAS-anna
Adho mukha svanasana posture replicates a dog bending forward, hence the name downward facing dog pose. This asana can be practiced by any beginner too and with all its benefits, one should include it as a part of daily yoga practice.
How to do the Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward facing dog pose)
Come onto your fours. Form a table such that your back forms the table top and your hands and feet form the legs of the table.
As you breath out lift the hips up, straightening the knees and elbows, form an inverted V-shape with the body.
Hands are shoulder width apart, feet are hip width apart and parallel to each other. Toes point straight ahead.
Press your hands into the ground. Widen through the shoulder blades. Keep the neck lengthened by touching the ears to the inner arms.
Hold the downward dog pose and take long deep breaths. Look towards the navel.
Exhale. Bend the knees, return to table pose. Relax.
Benefits of Adho Mukha Svanasana:
- This pose leaves you energized and rejuvenates the body.
- It lengthens the spine, strengthens the muscles of the chest increasing lung capacity.
- It brings strength throughout the body especially the arms, shoulders, legs, feet.
- Helps to tone muscles.
- It increases circulation to the brain.
- Calms the mind and helps relive headache, insomnia and fatigue.
Avoid doing this asana if you suffer from high blood pressure, Carpel tunnel syndrome, detached eye retina, weak eye capillaries, dislocated shoulder / shoulder injury or diarrhea.