Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward-Facing Dog) imitates the posture of the dog stretching after a nap, thus got this name.
Adho Mukha Svanasana - Downward Facing Dog Pose
Adho Mukha Svanasana Asana is a Sanskrit word Adho means Forward; Mukha means Face; Svana means Dog; and Asana means Posture. In English, it means Downward Facing Dog Pose.
When you observe dogs, you will see they do this stretching several time a day. It is a mild inversion that calms the nervous system and helps relieve stress.
How to do the Adho Mukha Svanasana?
- Come onto the floor on the hands and knees. Place the knee hip wide apart and place the hand shoulders wide apart. Spread the palms and the fingers.
- Exhale and lift the knees away from the floor and back backward. At first keep, the knees slightly bent and the heels slightly lifted from the floor.
- Bring the spine forward towards over the shoulder blades when lifting the sit-bones.
- Now descend the heels towards the floor and continue elevate the sit-bones and try to achieve an inverted ‘V.'
- When you place the back and the chest correctly; it is notable a quiet breathe in and out through the belly.
- During this pose, do not let the chest hang downwards or back extremely sunken.
- Starting the pose and do within the comfort zone, slowly the poses become perfect, feel convenient and relaxed, once the body is flexible and the back lengthened.
10 Benefits of Downward Facing Dog Pose
- Reverses gravity and make the blood and lymph flow in the opposite direction.
- This pose energizes and rejuvenates your body.
- Straightens the spine; relieve upper, middle and lower back pains.
- Spine lengthens, chest muscles become stronger and increases lung’s capacity.
- Strengthen your arms, shoulders, legs and feet.
- It increases blood circulation to your brain. It improves self-confidence, brain function, and cognition.
- Calm the mind and reduce anxiety & depression.
- Relieves headache, insomnia & fatigue.
- Help maintain internal chemical homeostasis.
- Regularize excretory system, useful for constipation and urine obstruction. Also aids proper waste elimination from mouth, throat, nose, eyes, ears, etc.
Contraindications of the Downward Facing Dog Pose (Adho Mukha Svanasana)
Avoid doing this asana if you are suffering from high blood pressure, Carpel tunnel syndrome, detached retina, weak eye capillaries, shoulder injury or diarrhea.
If you do this yoga to normalize your blood pressure, then you first lower your blood pressure into a normal range with medications. Then you can do this yoga to manage the blood pressure in the normal range. Slowly you can reduce your hypertension medicine.