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.


Svana  is the  Sanskrit  word  for  dog  and  in  Adho mukha svanasana, the  posture resembles  a downward facing dog. Adho means downward and mukha means face.  Adho mukha svanasana benefits can be derived  even by yoga beginners  and should  ideally be part of  everyday  
 yoga practice.


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. 

Science and Research

Benefits of Adho Mukha Svanasana:
Studies  done  on the  pose suggest that the  gentle  compression  promotes  digestion  and  also relieves  gas  and bloating.  It  is  also beneficial for  alleviating stress  and  could help  in uplifting your mood. 

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