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6 Simple Steps to Perform Adho Mukha Svanasana

Adho Mukha Svanasana

Yoga for the mind, body and soul! As good as this phrase sounds; the wonders of this science are even more far-reaching when experienced in real. With over thousands of postures and asanas designed in the span of this majestic art form, the techniques and the process of every posture is highly distinct. Even though, every yoga asana comes with certain exclusives benefits and qualities, we have selected a special ‘one’ that you would love and explore just as much.

Adho Mukha Svanasana, as it is called in Sanskrit, is also eminent as the ‘Downward Facing Dog Pose’. This yoga asana is a secular pose, also performed as an integral asana of the Suryanamaskar or the Sun Salutation Series. An amazing quality about the pose is that it does not require you to be an advanced level yogi. Adho Mukha Svanasana can be performed and reached by everyone, even a beginner level yoga practitioner. Before we go into the various steps involved in performing this pose, mentally prepare yourself for it by reading some of the most stunning Adho Mukha Svanasana benefits:

  • Helps restore body energy and revitalizes it.
  • Renders tone to the calves, back and hip muscles.
  • Improves lung capacity.
  • Reduces anxiety and depression.
  • Improves memory and enhances cognitive skills due to improved oxygen supply and blood circulation to the brain.
  • Strengthens and lengthens the spine. Relieves any discomfort or pain in the middle and lower back.
  • Stretches the entire body while strengthening arms, calves and shoulders.

Preparatory Poses: Warm up for the pose by performing Uttanasana (Forward Bend Pose) or Phalakasana (Plank Pose)

Read and practice through the following six Adho Mukha Svanasana steps:

Step 1

For getting into the pose, come into table-top position. This position can be achieved by balancing the body onto your knees and wrists such that the two knees and the two wrists form the leg of a table while the rest of the body is the top.

Step 2

While keeping your toes firm into the ground, gently lift your knees upwards. Do so while exhaling.

Step 3

Stretch your arms forward so that the upper body is tilted towards the front. Keep your palms inward, while maintaining the alignment with respective shoulder.

Step 4

Move deeper into the yoga by lifting the knees as high as the hip can be. Your body should ideally form an inverted V shape. Maintain the curve on your back inwards. It should not protrude outwards at any point while performing the pose. Keep the head and neck aligned while your ears can gently graze either shoulder.

Step 5

Push the tail bone as much as you are comfortable with. This is done to provide ultimate stretch to the body, especially the back and calves. Remain in the position for duration of 15-20 breaths.

Step 6

Reach back into the table top position while gently exhaling and bending back the knees. Repeat the pose up to 8 times.

Follow up Poses: You can perform Uttanasana (Forward Bend Pose) or Sarvangasana (Shoulder Stand Pose) once the Adho Mukha Svanasana pose is complete. You can rest for up to 20 seconds before commencing the follow up yoga postures.

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Precautions and Contraindications

  • In order to perform this pose, warming up the arms, wrists and calf muscles is highly recommended.
  • Do not attempt this pose if you suffer from ache or injury in the wrists, feet, shoulders or back.
  • Perform this pose on empty stomach only. Hence, 2-3 hours of gap between meals is appreciable.
  • Avoid this yoga posture completely if you suffer from cardiac problems or any kind of stomach disorder.
  • Do not fan out your palms while performing this pose. Keep your palms facing inward for balance and precision.
  • For best results, prepare for the Adho Mukha Svanasana pose with the recommended yoga positions.

The best time to perform this pose is early morning at the crack of dawn when you are about to kick start your day. With this, you also get the privilege to absorb the amazing benefits of solar energy. Practice this wonderful yoga pose for imbibing strength, harmony and balance in the body and mind.

To know about Adho Mukha Svanasana in further detail, explore our Yoga Teacher Training In India.

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