Article

Adho Mukha Svanasana – Downward Facing Dog Posture

By Prana Yoga | In All Yoga Postures, Inversions | on May 24, 2014

Anyone who has tried any of the sunsalutation variations, will be familiar with this posture. Allow your self time (this can mean months) to lengthen the hamstrings in the back of the legs because this will feel very tight for many people. If the posture is causing any pain bend the knees but try to keep the arm shoulders and back in one line. 

    –Note if it is very difficulty to bring the shoulders in line with the arms and back, place your hands on blocks or a chair to start with.

Adho-Mukha-Svanasana-Downward-Facing-Dog-Posture

Steps:

  1. Come onto your hands and knees. Your hands should be slightly infront of the shoulders, with the fingers spread. The knees come directly under the hips, and the toes are tucked under.
  2. Inhale lift your hips up towards the ceiling, trying to straighten the shoulders(making a straight line from your hands to your hips). At first, keep the knees slightly bent and the heels lifted away from the floor. 
  3. As you exhale try to straighten the legs bringing the heels sotwards the floor, going on as far as is comfortable still trying to lengthen through the spine. (For beginners, a slight softness can be kept in the knees, and the heels do not have to touch the floor)
  4. Work on bringing the chest in the direction of the feet, and lifting the hips up towards the ceiling. Keep the hand pressing firmly into the groung (particularly the index fingers)
  5. Keeping the breaths long and steady, coming deeper into the posture as you exhale. 
  6. Hold for up to 2 minutes, then exit to a new pose or come down to rest in shashankasana (hare posture)

    

Benefits:

  1. Elongates and releases tension from your spine
  2. Calms the brain and helps relieve stress and mild depression
  3. Energizes the body
  4. Stretches the shoulders, hamstrings, calves, ankles, and hips
  5. Strengthens the arms and legs
  6. Helps relieve the symptoms of menopause
  7. Can help to prevent osteoporosis
  8. Improves digestion
  9. Relieves headache, insomnia, back pain, and fatigue
  10. Therapeutic for high blood pressure, asthma, flat feet, sciatica, sinusitis

 

Contraindications:

  1. Carpal tunnel syndrome
  2. Diarrhoea
  3. If you have high blood pressure, or headache: support your head with a cushion, blanket, or block
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