Sun Salutation Yoga Poses: Down Face Dog

Down Face Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana)

Down face dog yoga pose

Down face dog can be entered from many positions. One way is trough the sequence of Surya Namaskar. Other way if we want to do it as an individual pose is from child’s pose – Pranatasana or it can be used as an entry or exit pose for many postures and during your practise you can hold between the other asanas in Down Face Dog in order to neutralize your spine, simply to bring it back to normal position after some twist or bend. It gets deeper and flexible as you practise it and even it looks simple it is not a posture to underestimate. You can use it as an informative pose to check your current condition also to tone and relax the entire body quickly and effectively. Some difficulties in the beginning might be rounding of your lower back or you can’t stretch fully your elbows, you can feel very stiff with pain in your back legs and your head, but gradually will get better and the feeling of a good stretch will bring vibrations and strength in your body.

1From child’s pose going in to down face dog will give you the perfect alignment of hands and legs. Child’s pose is when your buttocks are sitting on your heels and your arms are lengthened, stretched out in front of you. As said earlier the posture can be entered in different ways. For example from lying on your matt, facing down put hands by your shoulders. Without moving hands or legs lift yourself on to knees and hands. Knees should be hip distance apart and hands shoulders distance apart. From this position hands should be grounded on the floor and fingers spread. When you go in to the pose only legs can be adjusted and bend in the beginning so you can get the perfect stretch in your upper body. You can bend legs one by one or move them to reach the most comfortable position. Try to distribute the weight evenly between legs and arms (spread fingers) to avoid overwork in the wrists. As you are on your knees and hands (all four) take few deep breaths. Exhale.

2Inhale, than exhaling tuck your toes in, knees go off the matt, lift pelvis up and then back a bit to stretch your spine. Literally push the floor away. By bending your knees adjust in to the pose. Breathe normally. Try to avoid arching your lower back by pooling the pelvis in, stretching upper body and strengthen your legs. The aim is to get to position looking like the capital letter A.

3Then try to touch the floor with your hills. This is a very intensive stretch so do not force it. After few breathes come back down to your knees and than in to child’s pose. You can rest in child’s pose not only after down face dog, but every time you feel the need to rest.

If you want to start from Child’s pose simply as your hands are stretched forward ground them and you will be in perfect alignment for Down Face Dog, lift yourself to all four and do the same as described before.

Benefits: Strengthens shoulders and arms. Stretches the back of the legs and the spine, which helps to release tension. Conditions the hips. Beneficial for hearth function and over all energy flaw.

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