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Downward-facing Dog or Adho Mukha Svanasana

Downward facing dog, or adho mukha svanasana in Sanskrit, is most widely recognized yoga pose for any yoga practice. You can do this asana, or posture, alone, as part of sun salutations.

(Adho Mukha Svanasana)
adho = downward
mukha = face
svana = dog


Downward-Facing Dog: Instructions

Come onto the floor on your hands and knees. Make sure your knees directly below your hips and your hands slightly forward of your shoulders. Spread your palms, pressing through the outer edges of the palm and the finger tips Keep your upper arms and shoulders rotated outwards while your forearms rotate in.
Tuck your toes under (feet are hip distance apart). On an exhalation, lift your knees away from the floor At first keep the knees slightly bent to lengthen the spine and the heels lifted away from the floor
push your top thighs back and stretch your heels onto or down toward the floor
if possible straighten the legs, while maintaining the length in the spine. Taking the top of the thighs and knees back.
Press upper arms towards each other, shoulder blades down along the spine, but keeping the space across the tops of the shoulders.

Beginner’s Tip

If you feel unstable releasing and have difficulty in opening your shoulders in this pose, raise your hands off the floor on a pair of blocks
You can also work on the shoulder release in the pose by practicing against a wall or help with chair


Strengthens the upper body, arms, shoulders, chest and legs.
Energizes the body
Stretches the shoulders, hamstrings, calves, arches, and hands
Strengthens the arms and legs
It eliminates stiffness and back pain.