Adhomukka Svanasana – The Downward Facing Dog

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From the picture of my Milo above, you should roughly have an idea of the yoga asana I want to share today. Yes! I will be sharing on Adhomukka Svanasana, namely, the downward facing dog!

The shape of this asana resembles a dog stretching its spine and legs. See how cutie Milo lengthens his spine and stretches his legs in the picture above? Now let’s learn the proper techniques and benefits for this asana.

Alignments for Adhomukka Svanasana

  1. Hands are shoulder distance apart and fingers are widely spread. Make sure both hands are firmly grounded on the mat.
  2. Feet separated hip width apart.
  3. Arms and legs should be straightened except for beginners and hyperextension in elbows and knees. Beginners can bend knees slightly.
  4. Spine should be straight and lengthened
  5. Check that neck and spine are in a straight line and keep the head down.
  6. If possible, heels should be grounded onto the mat.

How to do a better (nicer and more perfect) Adhomukka Svanasana

  1. Try to keep the shoulders relaxed and not tensed up.
  2. Distribute slightly more weight to the legs and not the hands.
  3. Bring the shoulder blades down to enhance stability for the asana.
  4. Suck in the belly to create the effect of lifting tailbone up towards the ceiling. This helps to lengthen the lower back (lumbar spine).
  5. Some may have heels grounded but the back is rounded. However, we should focus on lengthening and straightening the spine. Instead of grounding the heels down, raise the heels slightly off the ground and push back to lengthen the spine.
  6. Maintain good alignment by pointing the knees and toes forward.

Benefits of Adhomukka Svanasana

Let me ask Milo first – just kidding! This asana has both physical and therapeutic benefits.

Physical benefits:

  1. Builds upper body strength by strengthening the arms and shoulders.
  2. Tones the abdominal muscles.
  3. Gives a good stretch to your gluteal muscles, hamstrings and Achilles tendon.
  4. Works and strengthens the quads and antetior tibialis.
  5. Increases flexibility in the ankles.

Therapeutic benefits:

  1. Enhances digestion by improving the functions of the digestive organs.
  2. Relieves fatigue
  3. Promotes blood circulation
  4. Relieves stiffness in the shoulder blades and helps in relieving arthritis of the shoulder joints
  5. Melts stress and rejuvenates brain cells
  6. Gives face a natural glow (now you can feel confident without make up!)

Contraindications for Adhomukka Svanasana

Sciatica, lower back problems and Carpal tunnel syndrome. People with high blood pressure should perform this asana with modification.

With love,

Stella