Downward-Facing Dog – Standing Poses in Hatha Yoga

(Adho Mukha Svanasana)

Counterpose

  • Child’s Pose (Balasana)

Drishti

  • At the floor
  • Between your feet

Physical Benefits

  • Improves digestion
  • Relieves insomnia, menstrual and menopausal discomfort, and low back pain
  • Strengthens the arms, legs, and torso
  • Keep the inside creases of your elbows facing each other.
  • Line up the creases of your wrists so they are parallel with the front of your mat (or if not using a mat, with where your mat would be).
  • Walk your knees back slightly behind your hips.
  • Stretches the palms, chest, back, hamstrings, calves, and feet
  • Energizes the body

Mental Benefits

  • Improves focus
  • Develops willpower
  • Stimulates the mind
  • Relieves stress and mild anxiety

Contraindications

  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • High blood pressure
  • Headache
  1. Come to all fours, placing your hands directly under your shoulders. Spread your fingers evenly and root down into the floor through all four corners of your hands. Rooting down means to extend downward energetically like a tree sending down roots into the earth. Inhale and draw muscularly from your hands up into your shoulders. Keeping your arms steadfast and straight, exhale and draw your shoulder blades onto your back.downward-facing-dog-standing-postures-in-hatha-yoga-f1
  2. Maintaining the action of step 1, inhale, lift your hips, and lengthen back through your spine and hips.downward-facing-dog-standing-postures-in-hatha-yoga-f2
  3. Straighten your legs to come into the full pose.downward-facing-dog-standing-postures-in-hatha-yoga-f3
  4. Hold for a few breaths. Release and lower yourself into Child’s Pose.

Gentle Variation

Follow steps 1 through 3 except keep your knees bent and your heels off the floor.downward-facing-dog-standing-postures-in-hatha-yoga-f4

Other Variationdownward-facing-dog-standing-postures-in-hatha-yoga-f5

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