Saturday, 24 September 2011

Adho Mukha Svanasana - Downward Facing Dog Pose

In Sanskrit, "Adho" means downward, "mukh" means face and "svan" means dog. In this asana, the practitioner's face is downwards, hence the name.


  1. Lie on the floor on your abdomen.
  2. Raise your body to position the body on all fours, palms, knees and toes touching the floor.
  3. Keep your knees apart and right beneath the hips and the palms a bit ahead of the shoulders.
  4. Spread out your fingers.
  5. Exhale and raise your knees off the ground.
  6. Keep your knees slightly bent and your heels off the ground.
  7. Raise your body up further, lengthening your tail bone.
  8. Lift your buttocks further up so they face towards the ceiling.
  9. Lengthen your thighs and stretch the heels so that they touch the ground.
  10. Keep your knees straight but still apart.
  11. Roll the upper thighs inward slightly and roll the heels outward slightly.
  12. Press your palms on the floor and straighten your arms from the wrists to the tops of the shoulders.
  13. Open up your shoulders and move them towards the tailbone.
  14. Keep your head in between the two arms.
  15. Hold the pose for about a minute. Gradually raise it to three minutes.
  16. Return to initial position in reverse order.


  • Pregnant women should avoid this yoga posture
  • If your wrists are sensitive or injured do not perform this yoga posture.


  • The yoga pose can be used to overcome stress and depression.
  • It improves the digestive system.
  • Adho Mukha Svanasana can be very beneficial for patients of high blood pressure, asthma, sciatica and sinusitis.
  • The shoulders, legs, spine and whole body get stretched.
  • Woman with menopause can benefit from this posture.
  • This yoga pose relieves fatigue and rejuvenates the body.


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