YOGA ANATOMY: DOWNWARD FACING DOG
Downward facing dog, also called Adho Mukha Svanasana, is one of the most recognizable poses, which is why we decided to make our first Anatomy of Yoga post all about it.
To start, Downward Dog has plenty of health benefits. It opens and strengthens the shoulders and the upper body. It also tones and stretches the hamstrings and calves. If you’re feeling a bit tired, try staying in this pose for a spell, and it will wake you right up. Down dog will also help you maintain good posture and increase blood flow to your head, giving your skin a healthy glow!
Here’s how to do it:
Start in Child’s pose, with your arms extended in front of you – hands shoulder-distance apart. As you press down with your hands, focus on lifting your forearms away from the ground, keeping your shoulders stabilized as you move into Down Dog. Keep your upper arms firm, and on an inhale, draw yourself up onto your hands and knees. Exhale, and press your hips back and up. Keep your feet parallel, and let your head hang. Remember that it is more important that you lengthen your spine than getting your heels to the floor. Your weight should be evenly distributed between your hands and feet. Maintain the pose for a few deep breaths; then bend your knees with an exhale, and rest back into child’s pose.
Downward Facing Dog is one of those amazing poses that engages the entire body and improves both your strength and flexibility, all in one! Give it a try, and then check back in regularly with the 30Fifteen blog for more Yoga Anatomy posts.
*Please note these instructions are very basic guides. If you are new to yoga, please find a local studio near you and take a couple of classes before attempting to practice alone. We cannot be held responsible for an injury caused by following these instructions.