Downward Facing Dog • Adho Mukha Svanasana

Step-By-Step:

STEP 1 - Begin on all fours with your hands shoulder-width apart, under your shoulders, and your knees beneath your hips, feet hip-width apart. Spread you palms, and align the creases of your wrists so they are parallel to the top of your mat and your middle fingers are parallel to the sides of your mat.

STEP 2 - Press the inner triad (the knuckle of your index finger, thumb and inner heel of your palm) of your hands into the mat, and spin the creases of your elbows inward so they face each other. Drop your head and check that your knees are under your hips.

STEP 3 - Breathe in, lift your head and look forward. Exhale and curl your toes under, lift your knees and stretch your hips up to the sky. Check that nothing changed in your hands, drop your head and relax the back of your neck. Check that your feet are parallel and that your inner heels are hidden behind the balls of your feet. Stretch the line between your toes, and extend your inner and outer heel back. Micro bend your knees, align them in the direction of your second and third toe. Lift your sitting bones and press the hips back, straightening your legs any amount, lengthening through the back of your legs. On every inhale, lengthen through the spine, stretch your arms, and press the inner triads of your hands into the mat. Every exhale, energize your legs and press them back

Target Area:

Spine, Armpit, Chest, Legs

Therapeutic Focus:

Improves circulation throughout the body. Relives pressure on the spine. 

Props & Modifications:

If your hamstrings are tight, bend your knees to lengthen the spine. Remember the stiffness in your legs pulls on your spin and downward-facing dog is a spine pose, so adjust your legs to free your spine. Blocks under the hands and a strap around the elbows are great for stiff shoulders. A block under the head helps to induce a calming effect.

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