Downward Facing Dog Pose
(Adho mukha svanasana)

Name: Downward Facing Dog
Sanskrit: Adho Mukha Svanasana
Pronunciation: AH-doh MOO-kah shvah-Nahs-ann
Pose Level: Beginner

Start by placing yourself on your knees and hands in the cat pose. Line up your wrists under your shoulders and your knees under your hips. Take the tip of the mat as a reference: the index finger should be perpendicular and both palms of your hands should adhere to the ground.
Straighten your elbows and keep your upper back relaxed.
Spread out your fingers and begin to push the palms of the hands to the ground. As you push, try to distribute your body weight exactly in the middle, between your hands and feet.
Now, while exhaling, pivot on your toes and raise your knees off the ground.
At this point concentrate trying to raise the ischium as much as possible, at the same time, try to stretch the coccyx as well.
Slowly begin to stretch your legs as far as you can and try to put your heels on the ground. If you are unable to extend your legs, keep them bent and your heels slightly raised, it is perfectly normal that you initially do not succeed. Over time, if you practice consistently, you will see numerous improvements.
While in the position, use your hands to force as if you were to push the mat away, raise your ischium towards the sky as much as possible and, in the meantime, push your heels towards the ground.
With your head you can:
    Look in your hands;
    Look at the navel;
    Leave her completely relaxed;
Now hold the Downward Dog Pose by breathing deeply for as long as you like. Start with 5 breaths and then increase.

It gives energy to the whole body and rejuvenates it.
Deeply stretches the entire back of the body relieving any back pain.
It strengthens both the legs and the arms.
Relieves headaches, insomnia and fatigue.
Mild forms of depression disappear.
There is a greater blood supply to the brain. This calms the nervous system and makes stress disappear.

Pose Modifications
Slightly bend one knee and keep the other extended. Then reverse the legs and repeat everything for a minimum of 5 times.

To correctly understand the stretching of the back in Adho Mukha Svanasana, first of all start by bending the knees, getting to place the weight on the front of the feet. Then stretch your arms and bring your hips as far back as possible. Only at this point can you slowly straighten your legs.


Adho Mukha Svanasana, like all yoga positions, brings countless benefits to the practitioner, but there are some cases in which it is recommended not to practice it.

So avoid practicing it if:

    You suffer from carpal tunnel syndrome, as the pain may increase.
    If you are pregnant. Both the pressure of the belly on the legs and the fact that a slight inversion is performed are factors that could affect the fetus.
    If you have high blood pressure. Performing the dog upside down and all the asanas that involve an inversion increase blood pressure so, if you already suffer from it, avoid doing them.
    If you have pain or have injured the most affected areas such as shoulders, neck or back.
    If you suffer from diarrhea.

Always remember not to exceed your physical limits and to work within your means.

Always listen to your body.

If you have severe back, shoulder, neck, knee or other ailments, talk to a doctor before practicing this or any other yoga posture.

Poses Commonly Transitioned too:
One legged Downward facing dog, Child’s pose, 
Poses Commonly Used Before Hand:
 Child’s pose, Upward facing dog

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