Adho mukha svanasana or downward facing dog pose, is a Sanskrit words whose meaning is ‘Adho’ – ‘down’, ‘Mukha’ – ‘face’, ‘Svana’ – ‘dog’ and ‘asana’ which is of course seat or posture. This posture is also very similar to the pose of the dog facing down so this asana is named as ‘Adho Mukha Svanasana’.
The pose is basically inverted and is performed in a way on the mat in which the hands and feet push against the floor. During this pose the hips are basically brought up into the air. The body frames a pyramidal triangular shape. This pose is just like a position when a dog takes while extending, and waking up from sleep. The Adho mukha svanasana (downward facing dog) can also be practiced as a preliminary stance for the standing poses, or to warm-up the muscles before yoga.
Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward-Facing Dog Pose)
Things To Know Before Doing Adho Mukha Svanasana:
It is pretty extremely needed to be sure that the bowels as well as stomach is empty before you are performing the asana. It is a good idea to give a gap of few hours in between the last meal as well as the exercise. This can allow enough amount of time for the food to digest properly. This asana can work better when it is practiced in the morning.
a. To begin the stance or pose, you need to begin with your knees as well as hands. Try to keep your knees straight forward, that is, beneath the hips and the hands little before the shoulders.
b. Then give the palms a chance to spread and the forefingers somewhat turned out or even parallel.
c. Slowly exhale and lift the knees away from the floor.
d. At the beginning, you can also keep the knees somewhat bowed and the heels lifted up from the floor.
e. At this point, try to stretch the tailbone far from the pelvis and then press it delicately to your pubis.
f. Now raise the sitting bone against the resistance towards the roof and then draw the legs inside the crotch.
g. While exhaling let your highest point of the thighs to be pushed back and the heel extended against the ground.
h. Then try to keep the knees straight and not bolted.
i. Remember to keep the thighs firm and roll to the highest point of the thighs inward. The front side of the pelvis need to be kept tight.
j. Slowly brace the arms and press the index finger effectively in the floor.
k. Then slowly from the region of the forefinger base try to lift yourself.
l. This must be done from the wrists to the shoulder top.
m. Try to keep the shoulder bones firm. At that point try to broaden them and convey it to the tailbone.
n. Your head must be in between the arms. Then abstain from giving a chance to drop.
o. Adho Mukha Svanasana (downward facing dog pose) is the piece of conventional surya namaskar arrangement. It is an exceptionally successful stance that is independent from anyone else. Try to stay in this stance for a couple of minute.
p. To leave this stance, you must twist the knees to the ground, breathe out as well as stop in the Balasana or Child Pose and rest for a minute. Later, continue this pose for at least five to six times.
1. It is quite easy to know, whether you are doing this asana correctly or not. If you feel that the joints are feeling stressed, or if you are feeling unstable, you need to check the alignment first. Later start over, and be sure that the knees are right under the hips, and the hands are beneath the shoulders. So, be sure that the creases on the wrists and elbow is aligned with the mat.
2. Initially, you might feel difficult to get your shoulder to be released right. You can practice against the wall to get the posture right. First stand about three feet away from the wall with the legs spread apart in a hip distance. Be sure that you’re facing the wall. Then, slowly place the hands on the wall, and walk down until it reach to the level of the torso. Your arms must also be parallel from the floor.
Follow Up Asanas:
a. Ardha Pincha Mayurasana
b. Chaturanga Dhandasana
c. Urdva mukha svanasana
Contraindications Of Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward-Facing Dog Pose):
a. High blood pressure
c. Detached eye retina
d. Weak eye capillaries
e. Dislocated shoulder / shoulder injury
So, it is best to consult a professional trainer or even a medical practitioner before you do this pose.
Advanced Pose Alterations:
Here is how you can intensify the practice and make it more effective once you are totally comfortable with the basics:
1. You can increase the stretch by lifting the body by your balls of the feet and pulling the hips such that they are more high. Do not forget to pull the pelvis inside. Drop the heels back on the floor and maintain the same intensity.
2. If you are focusing on the arms, you can loop a belt around the arms, and press the strap of the belt to increase the proper intensity. To focus on your legs, place your belt above the knees on the upper part of the legs, and then, work on the active leg by drawing the thighs out.
Benefits Of Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward-Facing Dog Pose):
1. Strengthen Abdominal Muscles:
The main inversion of the downward facing dog pose is the boat pose. We know that the Navasana can benefit the abdominal muscles and help support to the spine. This exercise has many similar effect on the abdominal muscle. It can help to stretch as well as strengthen the muscles.
2. Improves Circulation:
It might not have been in your notice, but Adho Mukha Svanasana (downward facing dog) is actually the inversion. The hips are being lifted, and the head is drop below the heart. There is the reversal in the pull of gravity, so the fresh blood flows, thus promoting the circulation.
3. Improves Digestion:
The asana is not at the full fold, but it can allow the abdominal muscles to compress all the organs of the digestive system, including the liver, kidneys, as well as the spleen.
4. Tones The Hands And Feet:
The body weight is on the hands as well as feet when you do the Adho Mukha Svanasana (downward facing dog pose). Therefore, it can tone the limb and prepare for a better balance.
5. Decrease Anxiety:
This pose can also help you to relax as well as calm the mind, thus reducing anxiety. As it stretch in the neck and cervical spine, stress gets released.