• The Health Benefits of Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

The Health Benefits of Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

By CNY Healing Arts -
Oct 27, 2010

CNY Healing Arts Center invites you to enjoy the benefits of one of the most popular yoga poses, adho mukha svanasana or downward facing dog pose. You’ve probably observed your dog doing this pose several times a day. It so happens that our canine friends have been on to something for some time and downward facing dog pose can benefit dogs and humans alike. We have many yoga classes available at all of our locations. View our current class schedule per location here.

Getting Into Downward Facing Dog Pose:
Start on all fours with your knees directly underneath your hip and your hands directly underneath your shoulders. The palms are firmly grounded onto the mat and your fingers are spread. Pull your stomach in and melt your chest towards the floor. Tuck your toes underneath you. Lift your knees away from the floor, lengthen your spine backwards and shoot your tailbone up towards the sky as you straighten out your legs. Push the top of your thighs back and stretch your heels towards the floor. Form the shoulder blades onto the back, release the neck and extend your heart towards your thighs. Hold the pose for 5 inhales and exhales and then rest in child’s pose with your knees on the floor, your forehead on the floor in front of your knees and your hands beside you on the floor.

Health Benefits of Downward Facing Dog Pose:

  • Inverted poses are extremely important because they reverse the action of gravity on the body and get the blood and lymph flowing in opposite directions.
  • On an emotional level downward facing dog helps turn everything on its head and helps us see things from a different angle.
  • It helps boost self-confidence.
  • Because of the increased blood flow to the top of the body, shoulder stand can help improve brain function and cognition and reduce anxiety and depression.
  • Takes pressure off the heart, which has to work less to get blood flowing to the brain.
  • Strengthens and tones the arms and legs
  • Because of the weight bearing nature of the posture on the arms and legs it helps strengthen the bones and prevent osteoporosis.
  • Lengthens and straightens the spine, helping to relieve pain in the upper, middle and lower back.
  • The body gets a 360-degree stretch in just one pose.