Gergana-Istatkova-rr

How to down dog?

Dear friends,

Today I want to give you some more detailed information about the most basic asana in yoga- the so called “Downward facing dog” or Adho Mukka Svanasana. This posture is part of the Sun Salutation or Suryia Namaskar series and we use it in our Ashtanga Vinyasa practice as we flow through each asana to another.

At first sight it seems like a pretty simple pose, but the truth is, that 90% of people don’t realize the little mistakes, that they make, which sabotage both their posture and flexibility.

Steps, when coming into the asana:

  1. We start at our hands and knees, the knees are directly below the sit bones, the hands below the shoulders. The fingers of the hands are spread wide apart, as the middle finger is pointing straight forward, and the thumbnails are pointed towards each other.

  2. Slowly we lift the knee caps from the ground. After slowly straightening the feet, we try to put our whole step in the ground, if we can, and push our tailbone towards the sky.

  3. We firmly push our heels toward the ground as we keep our tights flexed, our knee caps lifted, and this will automatically stretch our calves

  4. We keep our belly firm and tight ,as we squeeze it towards the spine

  5. The hands are straight and we push our palms firmly against the ground.

  6. We pull our shoulders backwards and keep them wide apart, from one another, so we don’t squeeze out ears, and don’t cause tension in the neck area. Even the opposite we should try to create as much space,as we could.

During an Ashtanga yoga practice we normally get into this  pose through Urdva Mukka Svanasana, ot Upward Facing Dog. So we simply push ourselves backwards and apply the same rules 🙂

We hold this asana for about 5 breaths- if we are doing it in purpose- in the Suryia Namaskar we just pass/flow through it.

Benefits:

  • Relieves stress

  • Improves digestion

  • Relieves symptoms of high blood pressure

  • Strengthens the hands, wrists, shoulders and feet

  • Stretches the shoulders, back, calves and ankles

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