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Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward Facing Dog pose)

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Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward Facing Dog pose)

You should perform this asana in the morning as it works best on an empty stomach. If you plan to practice this asana later in the day, make sure that you do it at least 3 hours after your last meal. You can perform a few preparatory poses before you do Adho Mukha Svanasana as these asanas will help to warm up your muscles.

Here are the Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward Facing Dog pose) steps:

Come onto the floor on your hands and knees.

Set your knees directly below your hips and your hands slightly ahead of your shoulders.

Spread your palms with your index fingers parallel or slightly turned out, and turn your toes inwards.

Exhale and lift your knees away from the floor. At first keep your knees slightly bent and your heels lifted away from the floor.

Lengthen your tailbone away from the back of your pelvis and press it lightly toward the pubis.

Against this resistance, lift your sitting bones toward the ceiling.

Then with an exhalation, push your top thighs back and stretch your heels down toward the floor.

Straighten your knees but be sure not to lock them. Firm your outer thighs and roll the upper thighs inward slightly and narrow the front of your pelvis.

Firm your outer arms and press the bases of your index fingers actively into the floor. From these two points, lift along your inner arms from the wrists to the tops of the shoulders.

Firm your shoulder blades against your back then widen them and draw them towards your tailbone. Keep your head between your upper arms and don’t let it hang down loosely.

To release from Adho Mukha Svanasana, you can bend your knees until your kneecaps touch the floor. Move your buttocks back until they touch your heels and your hands are stretched out in front of you. Stay in this position for a few seconds and then slide your upper body up until you are in an upright seated position.

Benefits of Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward Facing Dog pose)

Adho Mukha Svanasana leaves you feeling energized and rejuvenated.

It calms the brain and helps relieve stress and mild depression.

It lengthens the spine and strengthens the muscles of the chest thereby increasing lung capacity.

This pose strengthens the arms, legs, shoulders and feet

Because of the weight bearing nature of the posture on the arms and legs, it helps strengthen the bones and prevent osteoporosis.

Adho Mukha Svanasana relieves headache, insomnia, back pain and fatigue.

This pose can be used as a therapeutic aid for high blood pressure, asthma, sciatica, flat feet and sinusitis.


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