How To Do Downward Dog

How To Do Downward Dog (Ardho Mukha Svanasana)

Adho Mukha Svanasana is a pose that is often used as a link between standing poses and poses performed on the belly.

On its own, it is beneficial for lengthening out the spine, the sides of the body and backs of the legs.

It also builds strength in both the arms (shoulders, elbows and wrists) and the legs.

As the head is upside down, it can be considered a gentle inversion which brings a fresh supply of blood to the brain.

It could also be considered an arm balance as quite a lot of weight is distributed across the hands, although ideally, you want to find an equal distribution of weight between the hands and the feet.

Initially, Downward Facing Dog can be quite a tiring pose, but over time and with practice, it is a ‘go to’ pose if you want to have a rest after a strenuous flow/practice.

Care needs to be taken when performing Adho Mukha Svanasana not to hyperextend through the joints – especially those around the shoulders and the backs of the knees.

Keeping a neutral spine (not dipping or rounding) ensures safety whilst in the pose.

If you experience tight hamstrings through the backs of the legs, it is best to perform the pose with a bend through both the knees to maintain a neutral spine.

Those suffering with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, High Blood Pressure and Glaucoma or Detatched Retina should NOT perform Adho Mukha Svanasana.