Adho-Mukha-Svanasana/Downward Facing Dog
One of our most recognised and favourite yoga poses downward facing dog is an energising standing forward bend and offers so many benefits.
- All over body stretch.
- Strengthens the arms and the legs.
- Strengthens the abdominals
- Increases flexibility of the hip, knee, and ankle joints, and strengthens the ligaments and tendons of the legs.
- Elongates the spine.
- Opens the backs of the legs.
- Calms the mind and relieves stress.
- Is an inversion so it improves circulation because the hips are above the heart and the head making the blood flow easier.
- Relieves fatigue and dullness
- Improves digestion.
- Encourages a connection to self
- Enter via Balasana or child’s pose or walk/jump into from standing forward bend or enter from a lunge.
- Place hands and feet hip width apart
- Spread the fingers evenly and place equal weight into the hands especially the thumb, index and middle finger
- Firm the outer arms
- Lengthen through the back of the legs
- Lift the knee caps up to activate the thigh muscle
- Allow the heels to come towards the ground or as close as possible
- Ground and yield (Give weight) through the hands and the feet (The contact points on the ground)
- Send the weight through the hands so the chest reaches towards the legs
- Encourage the tailbone to lift to the sky
- Straighten your knees but do not lock them. (Or keep them bent if that works better for you)
- Draw the belly back towards the spine and up towards the rib cage
- Align front lower ribs inward
- Bring shoulders down and away from the ears and allow the shoulder blades to draw in towards each other
- Elongate through the spine – feel the length from the tail bone to the crown of the head – each vertebrae lengthened
- Allow the neck to be an extension of the spine – ensure the head stays/feels connected though the spine
- Feel the arms connect/feed in through the shoulders into the spine
- Feel the legs connect in through the hips into the spine
- Soften, be silent and ground through the stillness
- Inhale and exhale through the nostrils using the full lung space
- Close down the eyes and observe
- HOLD for 30 seconds to one minute
Contraindications & Cautions:
- Injury to the back, hips, arms or shoulders
- Slipped disc
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- High blood pressure
Practice Downward Dog using the points above and feel, observe and notice how the body feels. What messages and knowledge is your body that is full of its own innate wisdom sharing with you? Bend one knee at a time and walk the feet out, walk the dog bringing some movement into the posture.Then release the walk and press through the hands to feel the beautiful length through the spine and the neck. Explore, play and get curious with the pose adjusting the feet as necessary. Find the elegance and grace in the posture as you go inward to find and meet the self in this glorious asana.
Dance in the peace and bask in the bliss… Pink love and light
Lara and the gorgeous Miss Suzy and Princess Chelsea
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