Adho Mukha Svanasana - Downward Dog

It might take a year or more to be able to understand the depths of this posture and to be able to master it. Allow yourself to play with it at the moment, yet keep in mind that if you wish to go deeper into the pose it is recommended to contact a qualified yoga teacher.

Here are some tips for effortless playing with the pose:

  • Start in an active child's pose, with your arms stretched out to the front. Do not use any props.
  • Before you move on, make sure that your hands and feet are planted firmly on the ground and stay there – this is the proper distance your legs and hands should remain in while staying in a downward dog.
  • Tuck your toes under, engage your core and lift up, draw up through your quadriceps, bring your hips up and back, press down towards the earth, try to bring your heels closer to the floor.
  • Your shoulders melt down your back, your upper body remains strong as you ground down through your hands and spread your fingers wide.
  • Your body then forms an inverted V shape.
  • Your abdominal muscles feel engaged as they support your spine and prevent you from caving in through your chest.
  • Instead of staying here for more than a couple of seconds, start to walk your dog. Paddle your feet, move your hips, dance.
  • Really relax into this posture and find what feels right for you. Practice being flexible and observe how with every exhalation, your posture is getting more and more relaxed. Engage your core and dance with flexibility into the right alignment.
  • Feel free, liberated and light. Feel the stretch, feel your core, feel your body and your beautiful posture that you are creating on the outside.
  • When you feel it is enough, come back down to child’s pose and rest until you are ready to repeat it once again – each time with greater ease, more flexibility and a deeper connection on both the inside and outside.

Practising this posture will help you become more flexible both mentally and physically. It also encourages the circulatory system to pump fresh blood through the body, flushing out toxins, regulating blood pressure, and boosting vitality. Your entire back and neck are being actively stretched, which also reduces the stress that you put on our spine throughout the day.

It is great to use this posture any time between your practice to allow yourself to go back within, to regulate your breath and to realign with yourself, your body and mind and then to continue practising even more centred and flexible.

Please take care with this posture in case of high blood pressure, menstruation, pregnancy, headaches, chronic injury to shoulders, arms, hips and back as well as diarrhoea and carpal tunnel syndrome.

As usual, I would like to encourage you to keep your focus on conscious movement, listening to, connecting to and feeling your body. What matters is how you feel whilst in the posture, not whether it looks right.

Never Miss the Latest Stories and Information!