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Adho Mukha Svanasana or the Downward-Facing Dog is a standing yoga pose with mild inversion, which builds strength. This pose also helps in speeding up the blood circulation in the brain and facilitates oxygen in the upper body parts. It is an important component of Surya Namaskara or Sun Salutations.

This pose has a number of benefits, and if you are a beginner, then this is one pose you would want to learn. To benefit from downward dog, you need to know how to do it correctly. Do not practice this asana if you are in you late term pregnancy or have severe carpal tunnel. It should be avoided even for those who have arms, back and shoulder injury.

How to Do Downward Facing Dog Pose?

It is a very simple pose with abundance of benefits. You can begin by being on your knees and hands support. Align your knees right under the hips and wrist under your shoulders. Your wrists should be parallel to the yoga mat edges.

Slowly stretch your elbows and relax your back. Then, press your palm firmly on the mat with all your fingers wide open and distribute your body weight evenly on both your hands.

Exhale and slowly lift your knees and tuck your toes. By raising your pelvic region towards the ceiling, bring your body into “A” shape. Make sure that you do not lock your knees or move your finger, face or thumbs.

Try to draw your chest closer to your thighs and continue to be in the same posture for 30 seconds to 2 minutes. While releasing, exhale and slowly bend your knees and come back to the starting position.

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Benefits of Dog Pose

  • Adequate Blood Flow to Your Brains
  • Stretches the Spine and Strengthens It
  • Gives Strength to Shoulders and Arms
  • Tones Your Waist and Core
  • Lengthens Calves and Hamstrings

Adequate Blood Flow to Your Brains

It is a basic inversion and most of the beginners can easily perform this pose without any difficulty. Proper flow of blood to the brain, as your head is below your heart. This in turn helps you focus better, and it energizes your entire body. As your head hangs between your arms, it relieves tension from your neck as well. It works wonders when you practice this pose every morning.

Stretches the Spine and Strengthens It

When done correctly, it gives length to your spine. It feels good when your entire spine, legs and hands are stretched. This therapeutic yoga asana is great for back care, and helps in healing many other spine related issues, besides just strengthening it.

Gives Strength to Shoulders and Arms

Besides strengthening shoulders and arms, it also helps in toning your triceps, strengthen your wrists and elbows. With downward dog, you can even avoid carpal tunnel syndrome.

Tones Your Waist and Core

While practising this therapeutic yoga asana, draw focus on lower abdomen and slightly tuck it in while raising your pelvic region upwards. This is a great way to tone and strengthen your waist.

Lengthens Calves and Hamstrings

Downward facing dog stretches your hamstrings and calves, relieving the tight and stiff muscles. You can easily engage your quadriceps to open the hamstrings.

To conclude, down dog is one pose that makes anyone taller, longer, happier, stronger, energized and flexible. So, practice this pose everyday…

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Sarah Anna

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