Adho Mukho Svanasana

 Updated 30-06-2020

Adho mukho svanasana is a very important asana/pose in Yoga. This pose helps in stretching of the whole body.  It is also known as Downward-Facing Dog pose. The name comes from Sanskrit word ‘Adho’ means ‘forward’ ‘mukho’ is ‘face’ and ‘svana’ is ‘dog’ and ‘asana’ is ‘pose’. It is a very simple and easy asana. Beginners can start with this pose as it is one of the easiest asanas in yoga.

Ado Mukho Svanasana

Before starting the asana:

It is extremely important to warm up our body before starting any asanas or poses. 

It is also required to keep our bowels and stomach empty.

It is good to have at least a 2 hours gap after taking a meal before starting the asana.

It is important to warm up calves and arms before starting with Adho mukho svanasana.

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steps to do Adho-mukho-svanasana

Stand straight on the yoga mat and then bend with hands and knees on the floor. The palms should firmly be grounded on the floor with fingers spread properly.

Knees should directly be underneath the hips and palms should be underneath the shoulders.

The body should be shaped in an inverted V shape. While exhaling the hips are moved up towards the ceiling. Also lift the knees away from the floor.

The arms should be kept straight with the inner elbows facing the ceiling and shoulders are firm and relaxed. The outer part of the ears should touch the inner part of the arms this helps in neck lengthened.

Keep the spine straight and the tailbone facing up towards the ceiling.

Take a normal breath while holding this asana. Look towards the navel.

At the beginning Hold the position for a few seconds. You can increase the time gradually.  Exhale bend the knees and slowly get back to table position before returning to normal pose.

Benefits of adho mukho svanasana

Helps in stretching the muscles of the whole body.

Strengthens and tones arms and legs.

As the action is done against gravity, blood flows in the opposite direction , taking out pressure from heart to pump blood. This helps in circulation of blood all over the body.

Helps in releasing the pain in the back.

Helps in improving the immune system and digestion, While in the bend position the abdominal muscles slightly compresses the organs of digestive organs. This helps in digestion.

Helps in calming the mind , relieves from headache and insomnia and makes the mind fresh and move away from depression.

It helps in stretching of hamstring and calf muscles in the back of the legs and strengthens the shoulders.

Tips for Beginners

If you have difficulty releasing and opening your shoulders in this pose, then  raise your hands off the floor on a hard metal chair or practice near a wall to get the position correctly. Make sure you are facing the wall or the metal chair. Keep your hands on the wall or metal chair and then take it slowly to the ground. 

Advanced tips

After getting a hold on the pose you can increase the number of times and stretch more. 

precautions for adho mukho svanasana

Should not do if a person is suffering from carpel syndrome and diarrhoea

Avoid doing during menstruation.

Pregnant women in late pregnancy should avoid.

Detached retina

Pose in Ado Mukho Svanasana

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