How to do Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward Facing Dog)

In Sanskrit, “Adho” means “down,” “Mukha” means “facing,” and “Svana” means “dog.” Adho Mukha Svanasana is one of the poses which makes up Surya Namaskara sequence. (The Sun Salutation). It is one of the basic asanas all on its own which can be practiced by any beginner very early in Yoga classes. This posture helps to stretch the whole body. It is a very relaxing posture to relieve from stress.

Steps to do Adho Mukha Svanasana

Imagine a standing dog pose and bend on the floor with the palms of your hand and knees, keep the heels width apart and the legs straight. Firm your hands down, fingers spread, base of index finger grounded. Exhale and lift your knees and hips away from the floor. Initially, keep the knees slightly bent and the heels lifted away from the floor. But main focus should be to stretch the arms away from the body keeping them aligned with the spine and pressing the ground. Do not curl the upper back or lower back.

In this posture, the force is placed on the outside of the hands, and there are chances that you will feel a slide. The wrist may also hurt due to a pressure. The top of the head should be pointing down towards the ground but should. Once you are comfortable maintaining this pose, with an exhalation, push and stretch your heels onto the floor.

This could give you a little pull in the leg area, try to straighten your knees. Remember in mind that, in the final pose, you have to exactly create an upside down V pose.

Observe the effects of the arms and legs on the spine. Initially, hold this pose for 1 to 3 minutes, and then increase the time gradually. Then bend your knees to the floor with an exhalation and rest in Child’s Pose.
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  1. Give strength to the whole body, but especially to the shoulders, arms, legs, and feet.
  2. It also helps to improve the immune system and digestion.
  3. Rejuvenates the body.
  4. Calms the mind.


  1. Dont do it if you suffer from high blood pressure or diarrhea.
  2. Dont do it if you have dislocated shoulder, any shoulder injury.

It is advisable to perform any asana in the supervision of a qualified yoga instructor.

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Gautam Trehan

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