Yoga Pose of the Week: Downward Facing Dog

downward facing dog

Downward Facing Dog

Sanskrit Name: Adho Mukha Svanasana

Downward facing dog is  one of the most well know yoga pose as it is a large part of the framework for vinyasa flow here in the West. It builds both strength and flexibility in our bodies. One can say it is an anchor pose.



Instructions

1. From Table position, tuck the toes under, press into the hands and begin to lift the hips up towards the ceiling.

2. Spread the fingers wide apart with the middle finger facing forward, and the palms shoulder width apart. Press the out through the fingers and edges of the hands.

3. Using straight (but not locked) arms, press the hips up and back reaching the chest towards the thighs. Lift up through the tailbone to keep the spine straight and long.

4. Have the feet are hip’s width apart with the toes facing forward. Press the heels into the floor feeling a stretch in the back of the legs. The legs are straight, or you can have a small bend at the knees to keep the back flat.

5. Let the head and neck hang freely from the shoulders or look up at the belly button.

6. Breathe and hold for 4-8 breaths.

7. To release: bend the knees and lower the hips back to Table position, or come all the way down to child pose.

 

Benefits

  • Calms the brain and helps relieve stress and mild depression
  • Energizes the body
  • Stretches the shoulders, hamstrings, calves, arches, and hands
  • Strengthens the arms and legs
  • Helps relieve the symptoms of menopause
  • Relieves menstrual discomfort when done with head supported
  • Helps prevent osteoporosis
  • Improves digestion
  • Relieves headache, insomnia, back pain, and fatigue
  • Therapeutic for high blood pressure, asthma, flat feet, sciatica, sinusitis

Sources:

http://www.yogabasics.com/asana/downward-facing-dog/

https://www.yogajournal.com/poses/downward-facing-dog

 


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