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Adho Mukha Svanasana is an important Yoga pose. It imparts power, flexibility and alertness to the body and mind.

Adho Mukha Svanasana

Adho Mukha Svanasana is also called Downward Dog or Down Dog posture. The name comes from the Sanskrit words, adho which means downward, mukha which means face, svana which means dog and asana meaning pose. Adho Mukha Svanasana helps in building power, flexibility and alertness. This is the first pose which some people learn as they begin to do yoga. Adho Mukha Svanasana is often classified as inversion posture since the head is lower than the pelvis.

Starting The Adho Mukha Svanasana
In this pose, the body forms a triangular pyramidal shape, resembling a dog stretching after a nap. Doing this posture, you prepare your body for standing poses. It helps in warming-up the muscles at the beginning of yoga practice. While executing different styles of yoga, this posture is repeated. It is many times done during a yoga class as it provides a transition between poses, particularly in Surya Namaskar and vinyIasa flow yoga. Make sure that before starting this asana you should know the exact posture required for this asana.

How To Perform Adho Mukha Svanasana
Lay down on your stomach. Spread your fingers & place the fingertips on the floor, lining up with your shoulders. Your middle fingers should be facing each other. Your feet are hip-width apart. Turn your toes under. Move into the initial posture, with an exhalation. In this position, the heels are lifted high while the buttocks are elevated. The arms and the legs are extended. This posture can be assumed by keeping the back straight, or by pushing up into the pose. You can also allow the back to form a curve as you straighten your arms and then let the buttocks raised.

Make sure while making this pose that the weight should be equally distributed between the left and right legs as well as the left and right arms. As you rotate your "sit-bones" in the upward position, bring the spine forward between your shoulder blades. Your heels should move towards the floor when you elevate your sit-bones. While doing this movement stretching from the middle of your back legs will be stretched & will move in the upward position and also downward position.

Purpose of Adho Mukha Svanasana
The aim of this pose is to stretch the spine while keeping your legs straight and your feet flat on the ground. The most important thing is to work on lengthening the spine. Don't let your shoulders crawl up by your ears, try to keep them down. There should be equal distribution of weight between hands and feet. Remain in the same pose for a few breaths. Repeat it several times along with inhaling and exhaling of breath. Make sure that on a deep exhale your hips are pushed upward and the body should form an inverted V-shape. Legs & arms must be straight.

Benefits of Adho Mukha Svanasana:
Cautions For Adho Mukha Svanasana