Adhomukha Svanasana Yoga Pose

About Adhomukha Svanasana

Adhomukha Svanasana is a foundational yoga asana that requires flexibility and upper body strength. In this asana, the body forms an inverted “V” with the feet and hands pressing into the ground and the hips pushing to the sky. As well as a range of physical benefits, it is believed to calm the mind, yet energize and rejuvenate the body.

The name comes from the Sanskrit adhas, meaning “down,” mukha, meaning “face,” svana, meaning “dog,” and asana, meaning “pose.”

Tones and relaxes the nervous system, helping relieve depression and anxiety. Cures breathlessness, palpitations, extreme fatigue, and sunstroke. Stabilizes blood pressure and heart rate. Helps relieve chronic constipation, indigestion, and excess bile formation. Relieves arthritis in the shoulders, wrists, and fingers. Reduces lower backache. Increases the flexibility of the hip, knee, and ankle joints, and strengthens the ligaments and tendons of the legs. Counters the damage to the cartilage of the knee or hamstring muscles, caused by jogging, walking, and other sports. Strengthens the arches of the feet and prevents calcaneal spurs.

  • Come to your hands and knees with your wrists underneath the shoulders and your knees underneath the hips.
  • Curl your toes under and push back through your hands to lift your hips and straighten your legs.
  • Spread your fingers and ground down from the forearms into the fingertips.
  • Outwardly rotate your upper arms to broaden the collarbones.
  • Let your head hang and move your shoulder blades away from your ears towards your hips.
  • Engage your quadriceps strongly to take the burden of your body’s weight off your arms. This action goes a long way toward making this a resting pose.
  • Rotate your thighs inward, keep your tail high, and sink your heels towards the floor.
  • Check that the distance between your hands and feet is correct by coming forward to a plank position.
  • The distance between the hands and feet should be the same in these two poses. Do not step the feet toward the hands in Down Dog in order the get the heels to the floor.
  • Exhale and bend your knees to release and come back to your hands and knees.