Downward Facing Dog- Adho Mukha Svanasana
How This Helps
According to BKS Iyengar, one among the foremost yoga gurus, adho mukha svanasana helps in stretching the legs, shoulders, spine and the whole body. It imparts strength to the body and particularly so to the legs, arms, and feet. It is also helpful in relieving fatigue, rejuvenating the body, improving digestion, enhanced flow of blood to the sinuses, lifting the spirits, calming your mind and improving the immune system.
Step by Step Instructions for Yoga Downward Facing Dog:
Step 1. Start with your hands and knees. Keep the knees directly beneath your hips and the hands slightly ahead of the shoulders.
Step 2. Inhale and lift your knees from the ground.
Step 3. Push back your thighs while exhaling stretch your heels against the floor. Keep your knees straight taking care not to lock them
Step 4. Brace up your arms and press the base of your index fingers actively to the ground. Now raise yourself from the base of the index finger. Ensure that the position of your head is between the upper arms and take care not to allow the head to drop.
Step 5. This pose is a part of the Surya Namaskar (Sun salutation) series and very effective by itself. Try to stay in the pose for a couple of minutes. Bend the knees to the ground and exhale to exit the pose and rest in the Child pose or Balasana.
Avoid the pose if you have high blood pressure or ear/eye infection. People with wrist problems like Carpel Tunnel Syndrome should exercise caution while practicing the posture.