The popularity of yoga has grown exponentially in the last decade. It is proper to say that yoga has contributed to the happiness of the people who practice it, whatever the style. Today, we want to talk to you very especially about one of the most recognized asanas or yoga positions. The pose “downward facing dog,” or as its name in Sanskrit indicates, adho mukha svanasana.
The meaning of the Sanskrit word adho means “downwards,” Mukha means “head,” and svana means “dog.” It is an integral pose for any yoga practice. It is about making a replica of the forward-leaning of a dog, hence the name of the “downward facing dog” pose. As part of the traditional sun salutation sequence, this asana or pose can be done independently or even as a resting pose. For both experienced yogis and yoga beginners, they can find different ways to perform this popular yoga pose, downward-facing dog.
We can understand those who feel an aversion to the inverted V and consider this pose a kind of punishment or torture, especially when it comes to practicing it at rest. However, many of these reasons lies in the incorrect performance of the posture. Below we will mention step by step how you should practice the adho mukha posture and take full advantage of its energy.
Tuck your knees slightly below your hips and place your hands forward of your shoulders. Open the palms of your hands; the index fingers should be slightly parallel. Emphasize pressing against the canvas, index finger and thumb.
Exhale and lift your knees off the floor. In the first attempt, you should keep your knees slightly bent and your heels lifted off the floor. Lengthen the coccyx at the back of the pelvis and press lightly towards the pubis. Against this resistance, lift the glute completely towards the ceiling, and from the inner ankles, try to level the balls of the feet towards the groin.
Then, on an exhale, push up on your upper thighs and fully stretch your heels until trying to touch the ground. Look back and if you can see your heels, turn slightly outward, as far as you cannot see them anymore.
Straighten your knees, but make sure not to block them. Firms the outer thighs and rotates them slightly inward.
Firm the outer arms and actively press the bases of the index fingers into the ground. As you press down through your wrists, you will feel the energy rush up to activate your arms and cause you to slightly rotate your forearms inward toward each other.
Firm your shoulder blades against your back, then widen and draw them toward your tailbone to stabilize your posture.
Keep your head firmly between your arms without letting it hang. The neck is part of the spine, so it must follow the same natural line. Ideally, you should try to hold the Adho Mukha Svanasana position for at least 1 to 3 minutes. Then, to rest, bend your knees to the floor with an exhale and assume the child’s pose.
In addition to learning to obtain a perfect alignment of your body through the downward facing dog posture. This is extremely important for your anatomy. It is also very likely that you will end up loving this pose once you reach its perfection and begin to perceive all its benefits. Go ahead and practice this powerful yoga pose correctly and make it part of your daily exercise routine.