Adho Mukha Svanasana

How to do Adho Mukha Svanasana, (Downward facing dog) the yoga posture?

From the standing position come down to kneeling position, unto knees and hands.

Placing hands, palms down, directly below shoulders, at shoulder width apart with fingers pointing downwards. Place your knees directly below your hips at hips width apart. Keep the toes under and heels pointing towards the ceiling.

adhomukha svanasanaAdhomukha svanasana

How to do Adho mukha Svanasana

Slowly keeping palms and toes on the floor breathe out push your hips and tailbone up towards the ceiling. Push the heels downwards into the floor (feel the legs stretch out and strengthen as much as possible).

Stretch out the arms fully in front of the body, shoulder width apart. Press heels and hands into the floor, squeeze shoulder blades together and push shoulders down towards the waist.

Gently drop your head and body down through the arms, top of the head facing the floor. Relax your head and neck at this position. 

Pushing hands and heels down into the floor push tailbone towards the ceiling and spread buttocks wide (so that the body weight is evenly distributed between hands and feet). Hold the posture and breathe normally 5 to 10 times.

Slowly come out of this position, by bringing the hands towards the feet. Bend knees and place them on the floor; shins and tops of the feet rest on the floor, and toes pointing backwards. Place the buttocks onto the heels, and straighten the body up, facing forwards. Now relax your arms by sides.

Benefits of doing Adho Mukha Svanasana

  • This exercise stimulates the body. 
  • Strengthens legs, arms, joints and spine.
  • Increases circulation of blood in body, towards the brain, lungs and various vital organs.
  • Loosens the muscles of hips, and shoulders relaxing them out of tension. 
  • This exercise is especially beneficial for menopausal woman, as it helps ease the symptoms associated with menopause.
  • Prevents osteoporosis and reduces menstrual pain and is hence is extremely beneficial for women.

Who should not do this asana

The following people should not practise this asana without a doctor's advice -

  • When you have a headache or diarrhoea you should not do this asana.
  • People suffering from low or high blood pressure should not do this.
  • If you are suffering from arthritic wrist, you have to do it very carefully.
  • Individuals with spinal problems should not do this.

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Also check Art of Living yoga 

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