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Yoga Exercise - Downward Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana)

In the Downward Facing Dog Pose, you build up strength in the upper arms and you give space and opening in the back, neck, chest, hips and shoulders. If you let your ankles sink nicely to the floor in this Asana, you stretch the calves at the same time. In Yoga, this pose is often used as an exercise in between other exercises, but it is in fact an exercise in itself.

STEP 1: Come onto the floor on your hands and knees. Stretch the elbows and relax the upper back between the shoulder blades, which gives you the feeling that the arms fall into the shoulder blades.

STEP 2: Exhale and lift your knees and draw your back backwards from the pelvis, so that your arms and back form one line.

STEP 3: Stretch your legs in such a way that you get the feeling that someone behind you is pulling your legs and hips backwards from the top of your upper legs. Let your head hang down in a relaxed sort of way.

STEP 4: When you have placed your back and your legs correctly, stretch out your arms. This results in a stretching from two sides of the back: a stretching from the pelvis and a stretching from the arms. When the back and the chest are placed correctly, you will notice that you can quietly breathe in and out through the belly. You should not let your chest hang downwards or make your back extremely sunken. In this Asana, the back should be lengthened along its entire length. Take your time to work out the stretching further and further.

Many people experience the Downward Facing Dog Pose as a moment of rest between difficult Yoga exercises. However, when you are doing this, try to remain focused, both physically and mentally, and continue working out the technique further to get the maximum benefit from this exercise and from Yoga in general.


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Article Comments
Tuesday 18th August 2009 at 3:27:59 AM  

extremely helpful,,,thanks!

Kandaswamy Pirabu
Monday 1st February 2010 at 6:18:45 AM  

Nice Contribution. I just Love your web site..


Emmitt Holliln
Tuesday 8th March 2011 at 4:25:05 PM  

This is a classic pose. I have trouble with it making my knees feel weak. I''ll have to watch your animation to make sure I am doing it properly.

Ahmed Saeed O
Monday 14th March 2011 at 11:44:58 AM  

Nice to see these picture, hope the persons are do this exercise should be befefited.
I am one of the Patation, going to start from today, and expecting for the best results.

Tuesday 12th April 2011 at 8:15:51 AM  

very informative and excellent presentation. please send more articles about weight loss through yoga for above 40years. i am finding it diffficult to loose even bit of it even though i practise yoga for 45 mts 4 days a week.

Thursday 11th August 2011 at 4:11:13 PM  

Wow this site is incredibly helpful! Thank you so much!

Sunday 11th December 2011 at 2:03:09 AM  

Why do i feel sick and get dizzy when i do this????

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