Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward-facing Dog) Tutorial

Posted by | Asanas | December 08, 2014

Adho Mukha Svanasana (AH-doh MOO-kah shvah-NAHS-anna)

adho mukha = having the face downard

shvana = dog

adho-mukha-svanasana In this asana, your body takes the shape of a dog stretching itself.  This asana helps to rejuvenate your whole body as it gently stimulates your nervous system.

  1. Begin in Tadasana.  Exhale, and bend from the waist, placing each palm on the floor beside each foot.
  2. Bend your knees and step back 3 1/2 – 4 ft, one leg at a time.  Keeping your palms shoulder-width distance, position your legs about hip-width apart.  Right leg should be in line with the right arm, and left leg in line with the left arm.
  3. Raise your heels, tightening the muscles at the top of your thighs, and pull your kneecaps in.  Then stretch the arches of your feet and bring your heels back down to the floor.
  4. Firm the outer arms and press your hands actively into the floor, lifting and lengthening your arms. Firm your shoulder blades against your back, and then widen them drawing them towards the tailbone. Move your torso toward your legs, while making sure not to compress your spine.  Feel the stretch from your palms to your heels.  Now exhale, keeping your neck soft, but elongated.
  5. To come out of the pose, inhale and lift your head, walking your feet towards your palms, coming back into Tadasana.

Adho Mukha Svanasana is an important pose of the Sun Salutation sequences.  Check out our tutorials on Sun Salutation A or on Sun Salutation B!

 

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