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Yoga Poses Guide
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Downward Facing Dog

Adho Mukha Svanasana

ah-dho moo-khah SHVAHN-NAH-sah-nah
Downward Facing Dog
Strengthens arms and legs
Improves digestion, brings fresh blood to brain
Brings energy

How to perform downward facing dog

  1. Lie on your stomach. Bring your hands under your shoulders and spread your fingers wide. Bring your feet as wide as your hips and curl your toes under.
  2. Push into the floor and come onto your knees with an exhale, then slowly straighten your legs. Release your heels toward the floor. Reach your tailbone toward the sky behind you to lengthen your spine. Bring your head in between your arms.
  3. Hold the pose and take slow, deep breaths.
  4. Release your knees to the floor with an exhale and sit back on your heels.
Alignment cues
  • Bring feet hip-width apart
  • Bring hands shoulder-width apart
  • Spread fingers and push thumbs and index fingers into floor
  • Draw shoulders away from ears
  • Align ears between arms
  • Reach tailbone up and back
  • Release heels toward floor
Avoid this pose if you have high blood pressure or carpal tunnel syndrome.
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More yoga poses to discover

Downward facing dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana in Sanskrit) is a beginner yoga pose that belongs to the forward bends and inversions categories. This asana targets calves and hamstrings and middle back / lats and spine and also involves abs and ankles and glutes & hip flexors and quadriceps and triceps and wrists muscles. Downward facing dog stretches and strengthens legs, opens chest; rejuvenates abdominal organs and also reduces fatigue, increases energy. Refer to the illustration and instructions above for how to perform this posture correctly. Discover more yoga asanas and yogic breathing exercises in our free yoga pose directory.

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Workoutlabs Yoga Cards Beginners Workoutlabs Yoga Cards Sequence Workoutlabs Yoga Cards Set
Discover our best-selling Yoga Cards – professional study, class sequencing and practice guide for beginners and beyond.
Yoga Beginners Workoutlabs Ebook
New to yoga? Our Yoga for Beginners pack covers everything you need to know to get started with your practice.
Personal Training Software from WorkoutLabs
Personal trainer? Try Train - our beautifully simple training platform you and your clients will love.
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