Downward Facing Dog, Adho Mukha Svanasana is one of the foundational poses of yoga. You’ll find it in the sun salutation series in ashtanga yoga, and in almost every other style of yoga. I’ve never been to a yoga class where we didn’t do downward facing dog at least once.
It’s a great pose for strengthening and stretching the body, it’s also a good a good transition pose. Transition poses are used to link other poses together when creating a flow. So today we’re talking how to do downward facing dog. There’s also a step by step guide at the end of the post.
Can I be honest? I pretty much hated this pose when I first started my practice. My arms were just so weak that holding it was hard! Plus I had a not-so-quality mat and so my palms would always slide when I was in this pose, which just made it harder!
Now that I’m building upper body strength and have a better mat, I’m slowly warming up to it. I love teaching downward facing dog because of its many benefits.
If you find it hard to hold this when you first try, don’t be discouraged.
Remember that you can walk your feet closer to your hands or bend your knees to make this pose more accessible.
- Strengthens the entire upper body.
- Stretches the back, chest, shoulders, hamstrings, and calf muscles.