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Find Out How To Perfect The Downward Dog Posture

Downward-facing dog or Adho Mukha Svanasana is one of the most frequently used and commonly misaligned postures in yoga. Read on to master the posture with detailed tips.

By Sadhana Kumari
13 Jun 2022

Adho mukha svanasana or downward dog posture is one of widely recognised yoga asanas that is incorporated into many yoga practices. Practicing downward dog can help create better balance and flexibility in your body by strengthening and stretching. To achieve the desired results, you have to practice it with caution. It can be challenging to fully do the pose if you have stiff shoulders or hamstrings. However, if you’re flexible, you ought to be attentive to avoid any injuries to your lower back and shoulders.

 

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When practiced regularly, with the right alignment, you may start to feel lighter as you use the structure of your skeletal system to support the weight of your body. The pose needs strength from the pelvis, hips, and torso, rather than your arms and legs. This makes a lot of difference in how you perform downward dog. Downward-Facing Dog Pose tones the arms and legs, opens and strengthens the shoulders in flexion, the hamstrings, stretches the calves, and prepares the body for workout.

 

The key is to focus on the right body posture alignment from the start of the asana. Draw your inner groin deep into the pelvis, lifting actively from the inner heels to form the ideal posture.

 

Perfect your downward dog with these steps:

  • On the floor, spread hands and knees in a tabletop position. Place your hips directly over your knees, and your shoulders over your wrists, and place your hands shoulder-width apart.
  • Position your wrists parallel to the front edge of your mat, and spread your fingers wide. Press down firmly and be sure to keep your palm connected to the floor.
  • Grip the mat with your fingertips, similar to a cat digging claws into the mat.
  • Push the back of your legs and lift slightly up onto the balls of your feet, and pull your heels a half-inch from the floor. This will alleviate pressure on your wrists.
  • Keep your arms straight and engaged without locking your elbows. Keep your head in line with your spine.
  • Raise your hips up high towards the ceiling or sky without moving your hands or feet and lengthen your heels back onto the floor.
  • Keeping your knees bent helps you to lift your hips higher. Keep your head between your upper arms.
  • Stay in the pose for at least 10 seconds. Slowly, bend your knees to lower yourself back into table position.
  • Do 10 reps.

 

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PRECAUTION:

  • Take care of hyperextension (excessive movement) of any of the joints in downward dog. Watch your elbows by pressing your inner upper arms away from each other until your biceps engage.
  • For the right neck position, bring your ears in line with your upper arms to align your neck and head along the same line as your spine.

 

 

 

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