Downward Facing Dog Pose or Adho Mukha Svanasana in Sanskrit (Adho means ‘downwards’, Mukha ‘face’, and Svana means ‘dog’) is a foundational yoga pose that is often used as a transitional pose between other yoga asanas.
Downward Facing Dog position provides a great stretch and strengthens the entire body, especially the arms, shoulders, hamstrings, calves, and spine. It can also help to calm the mind and relieve stress.
Adho Mukha Svanasana is considered a base pose as Downward Facing Dog Pose Variations can be derived from this pose. This is a great pose to boost energy in the body and hence can be included in flow yoga sequences.
Benefits and Contraindications
Calms the brain and helps relieve stress and mild depression
Energizes the body
Stretches the shoulders, hamstrings, calves, arches, and hands
Strengthens the arms and legs
Helps relieve the symptoms of menopause
Relieves menstrual discomfort when done with head supported
Helps prevent osteoporosis
Relieves headache, insomnia, back pain, and fatigue
Therapeutic for high blood pressure, asthma, flat feet, sciatica, sinusitis
Carpal tunnel syndrome
Pregnancy: Do not do this pose late-term.
High blood pressure or headache: Support your head on a bolster or block, ears level between the arms.
Photo poses in different angles
Frequently Asked Questions
If you feel discomfort or pain while practicing Downward Facing Dog Pose, modify the pose by bending your knees, placing your hands on blocks, or lowering yourself to the ground. If the discomfort or pain persists, stop practicing the pose and consult with a healthcare professional.
Yes, beginners can practice Downward Facing Dog Pose, but modifications may be necessary to make the pose more accessible. Start with shorter holds and gradually increase the duration as you become more comfortable with the pose.
Hold Downward Facing Dog Pose for 5 to 10 breaths, gradually increasing the duration as you become more comfortable with the pose. Repeat the pose several times throughout your yoga practice.
Yes, you can practice Downward Facing Dog Pose during your menstrual cycle, but it may be uncomfortable or difficult for some individuals. It is important to listen to your body and adjust your practice as needed.
Some women may experience discomfort or pain during the pose due to cramping or bloating. In this case, you can modify the pose.
It is also important to stay hydrated during your menstrual cycle and avoid overexerting yourself in your yoga practice. If you experience severe pain or discomfort, it is best to rest and avoid yoga poses that exacerbate your symptoms.
As always, it is recommended to consult with a healthcare professional before starting or modifying any yoga practice, particularly if you have any medical conditions or concerns.
Modifications & Variations
- Downward Facing Dog Pose With Bent Knees
- Downward Facing Dog Against a Wall
- Downward Facing Dog Pose With Chair
- One-Legged Downward-Facing Dog Pose
- Two-Legged Downward-Facing Dog Pose
- Three Legged Downward Facing Dog Pose Aerial
- Revolved Downward-Facing Dog Pose
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