The dog posture or Adho Mukha Svanasana stretches your entire body, softly regenerates your neural system, and with frequent practice, your entire body will be reinvigorated!

The downward-facing dog pose, Adho Mukha Savasana, is well-known and performed, notably during Surya namaskaras, or Sun salutations, but it is also one of the cornerstones of yoga in various schools.

Indeed, we extend the entire body, the soles of the feet, and the entire back of the leg from the buttocks to the Achilles heel in this asana.

We also extend the hands and shoulders before lengthening the back, particularly the lower and upper back, which are particularly exploited in modern life.

Its mental effects are equally potent. 200 Hour Yoga Teacher Training in Rishikesh covers all basics of Asanas.

What exactly is Adho Mukha Svanasana?

“Adho Mukha” means “to have the head towards the earth,” and “svana” means “dog” in Sanskrit.

As we perform this asana, we are in the same position as a dog stretching to the end of its claws!

Except that, in general, we go into the pose less deeply and naturally than our canine companions…

Adho Mukha Svanasana’s Benefits

This posture extends the entire spine, which is beneficial for releasing stress in the shoulders and neck.

It strengthens the feet (particularly in the case of flat feet), legs, arms, and the entire back, from the bottom to the top.

This energizing position is especially beneficial for runners who are suffering from leg strain.

  • It recharges your batteries.
  • It relaxes the mind and relieves stress and anxiety.
  • Because the brain is well-irrigated and oxygenated, it aids memory.
  • As a result, it relieves headaches and insomnia. In this situation, practice slowly and deeply breathing while remaining calm.
  • The heart rate is slowed by expanding the bust, or diaphragm, in conjunction with slow and elongated breathing.
  • It relieves shoulder blade stiffness as well as arthritis in the shoulders.
  • In the case of sciatica, it provides relief.
  • It improves respiratory capacity, making it useful for sinusitis and asthma.
  • aids in the management of abnormally heavy periods.
  • Reduces hot flashes, which are common throughout menopause (in this case, preferably put a support under the head).

Dog posture contraindications

  • I have hypertension and headaches regularly. In this scenario, I recommend leaning your head against a wall or a bolster. Because the posture’s effects are gentler, it becomes highly beneficial once more.
  • If you have fragile shoulders and/or hyper-lax elbows, make sure they are compacted against one another. I also recommend doing the position with your thumbs together. In this manner, your shoulder and elbow joints will be better protected.

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First, Adho Mukha Svanasana, like any inverted position, flips our perspective; it helps the brain to renew and consider things from a different perspective.

The back, which belongs to the unconscious, rises upwards and tends to awaken intuitive intelligence, while the hands and feet remain firmly planted on the ground.

Adho Mukha Svanasana lets the back and entire body stretch deeply and completely. This posture also helps you to tether your mind, or ego, to the earth; to connect with it; to anchor yourself to it; while also connecting to the sky through the spinal column.

This is why this position electromagnetically rebalances us.

This asana also drains the body’s fluids (blood and lymph) from the root chakra to the crown chakra, Sahasrara, infusing everything with vitality.

As we’ve seen, this posture extends the entire spine; feel the energy flow from the neck (where the Vishuddha (link) chakra is active) to the buttocks and Muladhara, the root chakra, and vice versa.

Widen your chest and tuck your shoulder blades in; this will allow you to fully expand your breath in consciousness, stimulating the Manipura chakra (the plexus chakra).

The effect of practicing the three major bandhas (links) in Adho Mukha Svanasana will be amplified if you master their utilization.

Adho Mukha Svanasana is a technical position.

Hands-on the wall (variation 1): good for stretching the upper back (palms on the ground or fingers slightly raised against the wall)

Foot on the wall is the second version, which is good for stretching the lower back and the back of the legs.

Support for the forehead (variation 3): beneficial for soothing the nervous system.

Make a dog pose.

  • At the edge of your mat, stand in Tadasana.
  • Exhale and bend your knees to place your hands on the ground.
  • You can go on all fours if you’re weary or less mobile.
  • Back up to 1.20 m with your legs (at the beginning of the posture, you should not be able to completely put your heels on the ground when your legs are stretched).
  • Hands should be shoulder-width apart.
  • The distance between the feet and the distance between the hands should be the same.
  • Your palms, fingers apart, middle fingers stretched out in front of you, forcefully push down on the ground. Pushing the top of the front of the thighs backward can help you move away from your hands.
  • Elevate the heels, raise the kneecaps, and extend the legs vigorously.
  • As though you wanted the upper thigh muscles to go into the glutes, absorb them, “suck” them in.
  • Extend the glute bones upwards.
  • Stretch the spine from the coccyx to the cervical vertebra by vertebra.
  • Maintain this stretch by lowering your heels to the ground while prioritizing gluteal movement towards the sky. If your pelvis collapses, do not place your heels on the ground.
  • If your back legs are stiff, bend your knees while continuing to push your glutes aloft.
  • The inner side of the arms should be stretched into the shoulders.
  • To relieve the neck and upper back, rotate the outer edge of the arms (triceps) inward (biceps).
  • The pubis should be stretched towards the chest.
  • Backward and upwards, stretch the iliac wings or the tops of the glutes.
  • Open the chest and tuck the shoulder blades in.

An Outfit for Stance

  • In between your arms, relax your head and neck.
  • Bring your heels closer to the ground if feasible, but keep your pelvis as high as possible towards the sky. If your legs are rigid, bend them.
  • To release the neck, turn the triceps, and therefore the outer edge of the arms, towards the ground.
  • As it moves forward, the head gets closer to the earth. (but not at the expense of injuring the shoulder joint by directing the triceps muscles aloft and the biceps muscles outward and down).
  • Extend your legs apart from your body.
  • Stretch the backs of the thighs and the pelvis to the sky.
  • Inhale deeply and hold the position. Beginners should limit themselves to 20 sc, while advanced should limit themselves to 1 minute.

Read More: Uddiyana bandha: connect your belly to your spine!

Exiting the stance

  • Take a deep breath and slowly raise your head.
  • Return to Tadasana by walking towards your hands.

Recommendations for Adho Mukha Svanasana

One of the most common mistakes made by beginners is not lowering their heels to the ground or bringing them back up by rounding the lower back.
When you’re on your toes, though, the trajectory of your posture swings forward rather than backward.

As a result, it can’t be a fair position; you’ll have to shift your weight back into your heels.

This does not always imply that the heels must touch the ground; it all depends on your level of flexibility in the rear of the legs; they just have to go in that direction.

If your knees aren’t extremely flexible, micro bend them to reinforce the stretch of the buttocks towards the sky. As a result, your spine will be stretched.

I’d like to remind you that having a skilled professional assist you through any practice is ideal. Here is a link to a directory of teachers who I have personally taught.

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