Adho Mukha Svanasana Downward Facing Dog pose

Adho Mukha Svanasana (frequently called “dog pose “) usually shows up in almost every class. It can be a stand in for Head Balance; it opens up the backs of the legs; it opens up the shoulders; and, because the direction of sight is toward the uneventful floor, it helps quiet the mind.

This illustration shows the head on the floor and the heels on the floor! At first the head and heels aren’t usually that far down, but it does give a sense of direction for how to work in this pose .

One could start this asana on all fours (hands and knees ) with the hands about 8 inches forward of the shoulders. The hands, knees and feet should be hip width apart.

Then, curling the toes under, the practitioner should extend the legs and press them back keeping the arms fully extended and the hands evenly placed on the floor. The shoulders should be kept broad .

To come out of Adho Mukha Svanasana, one simply returns to the all fours position.

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