Adhomukha Svanasana

Also known as downward facing dog pose. Practice this posture to create flexibility through the shoulder joints and reduce mental fatigue.

Medical benefits:

When practiced with the head supported this is one of the postures that reduces high blood pressure and calms and regularizes heart palpitations. It also brings relief to those suffering from backache, arthritis, upper back stiffness, sciatica, and displaced spinal discs.

Downward facing dog also helps us deal with asthma, shortness of breath, bronchitis, and nasal catarrh. Include this posture in your practice if you have a displaced uterus, (umbilical) hernia, or kidney, menstrual, or prostate problems.

  1. Kneel down on all fours with your toes tucked under.
  2. Exhale, raise your knees up off the floor and swing your pelvis up and back.
  3. Raise your heels, come up onto your toes and further raise your hips. Draw your kneecaps up.
  4. Push your legs away from your body and press your heels toward the floor. Press the palms of your hands into the floor and draw your shoulder blades away from your ears. Without bending your arms or legs, allow your head to come close to the floor. Breath normally and hold the pose for 30-60 seconds.

Practice Note:

In order to get more extension through stiff shoulders, place yourhands up on blocks that are placed on their flat end against the wall.

As a less strenuous way of practicing, and to calm the mind, place your head on a block.


Environmental Working Group on Sunscreen
The Woman's Yoga Book, Bobby Clennell