Downward Facing Dog

Updated: Feb 23

In this post, I will show you how to do the Downward Facing Dog pose. Besides this essential step-by-step guide, I will also be giving you a quick video guide for this posture. I will also tell you the benefits of this posture and how it contributes to your physical health and mental wellbeing.

Downward Facing Dog pose, also known as the Adho Mukha Shvanasana, can be a very challenging posture if you are a beginner or if you are returning to yoga after a long break. This posture is frequently done during our yoga practice, especially in Vinyasa Yoga. So, it's vital to get the alignment correct as it will avoid issues later on in our practice. (Click for a tutorial video on how to do Downward Facing Dog pose)

Step-by-Step Guide to the Downward Facing Dog Pose

Step 1

  • Get on to your hands and knees. Keep your knees below the hips and wrists below the shoulders.

  • Spread your fingers and place your whole palm, fingers down, on the mat.

  • The middle finger should ideally be pointing directly forward towards the front of the mat. However, you may adjust it slightly to the sides if that’s more comfortable.

Step 2

  • Tuck the toes under and gently lift the knees off the floor.

  • As your knees lift up, push into the floor with your hands to transfer your weight between your hands and feet.


  • Lift your sit bones and hips up towards the sky while keeping the knees bent.

  • Push into the floor with your hands to send the chest through between your arms towards your legs and straighten the back.

  • Keep the knees bent to get the back to a lovely and straight position. Your back should form a straight line from your wrists to your hips.


  • If it is possible for you to keep your upper and lower back straight and long, heel-toe, heel-toe your feet and wake up the back of the legs.

  • Try to bring both heels down towards the ground to straighten your legs without curving your back and spine. If that’s not possible, you can alternate between one heel and the other to start with. In time, it will become possible for you to straighten your legs without curving your back.


  • Please see the pictures above.

  • Get your shoulders into the right position. In the first picture (the one on the top), my shoulders are in the incorrect position (hunched up to the ears).

  • Draw the shoulders down the back to create the right space between the neck and shoulders as shown in the second picture (the one at the bottom).

Downward Facing Dog Pose Benefits

This posture offers many benefits to both physical and mental health. It ...

  • Strengthens the whole body.

  • Increases flexibility.

  • Encourages you to keep your mind calm.

  • Helps reduce constipation.

  • Helps prevent osteoporosis.

  • Relieves the symptoms of the menopause.

Downward Facing Dog Video Guide

My step-by-step video guide to the Downward Facing Dog is given below. Do watch the video tutorial. I hope you find it useful and benefit from it.

For more benefits of the Downward Facing Dog posture, check out


Welcome to my blog, I am Katya 

I am an artist, Yoga lover and 'British Wheel of Yoga' Teacher of over 10 years. Sharing and helping people is something I am incredibly passionate about, and I aim to serve to the best of my ability. 

I graduated with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Creative Writing & English in 2007; I find that blogging and poetry is a perfect way for me to express myself and to structure my knowledge to share with others. 

I hope you find something that can help on these pages and I look forward to sharing more content with you. Love and Hugs Katya 

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