Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)
Level: All levels
Adho = downward. Mukha = face or mouth. Shvana = dog.
This can be classified as both a forward extension, as it is here, or as a standing pose, because of the use of the legs.
Organizing the pose
- • Come to all fours on your hands and knees.
• Position the shoulders directly above the hands.
• Bring the feet hip width apart and slide the knees back behind the hips.
• Plant the palms firmly down and stretch the arms.
• Exhale and straighten the legs, lifting the hips up and back.
• Pull the thighs and heels back.
• Release the head down.
• Hold this position for several breaths.
• To come out of the pose, exhale, bend the knees and come to the floor.
- • Spread the toes.
• Lift the kneecaps and pull the thighs up and back.
• Deepen the hip creases and spread the sitting bones.
• If the legs or back are tight and it is not possible to tilt the pelvis forward so that the back does not round, bend the legs slightly.
• Soften the lower abdomen and the pelvic floor (between the sitting bones).
• Pull the hips away from the shoulders.
• Draw the ribs away from the arms.
• Spread the palms and lengthe then index fingers and thumbs.
• Roll the weight into the index finger and thumbs.
• Straighten the elbows.
• Lift the upper arms.
• Soften the shoulders.
• Broaden the upper back.
• Soften the neck and let the head hang down from between the shoulder blades.