Downward Facing Dog
Updated: Sep 12
I am sharing with you an essential step by step guide on how to do Downward Facing Dog pose, along with the excellent benefits this Yoga posture has to offer to your mental and physical health and wellbeing.
Downward Facing Dog pose, which is also known as Adho Mukha Shvanasana, can be a very challenging posture when you are a beginner or returning to Yoga. This posture is done many times in our practice, especially if you love to explore vinyasa Yoga, so it's vital we get the alignment correct to avoid any issue later on in our practice. (Click for a tutorial video on how to do Downward Facing Dog pose)
So below, I share the basics of the posture for you to explore.
How to do Downward Facing Dog step by step.
Arrive on your hands and knees. The knees are underneath the hips and wrists are underneath shoulders.
Spread the fingers and place the whole palm and fingers down onto the ground.
The middle finger is aiming directly forward towards the front of the mat. (adjust slightly out to the sides if it's more comfortable).
Tuck the toes under and begin to lift the knees off the floor.
Push into the hands and transfer the weight between the hands and the feet.
Keep the knees bent as you send the sit bones and hips up towards the sky.
Push into the floor with the hands to send the chest through between your arms.
Keep the knees bent to get the back lovely and straight, forming a straight line from your wrists to your hips.
If your upper and lower back can stay lovely and long: heel-toe, heel-toe your feet. Wake up the back of the legs.
In time encourage both heels down and work towards a straight leg providing you are not pulling the spine into a curve.
In the top image, I demonstrate the shoulders in the incorrect position (hunched up to the ears).
Draw the shoulders down the back to create space in the neck and shoulders.
Downward Facing Dog Pose Benefits
Strengthens the whole body.
Helps to encourage more calmness within the mind.
Helps to reduce constipation.
Helps prevent osteoporosis
Relieves the symptoms of the menopause
For your step by step video guide on how to do Downward Facing Dog, please check out my tutorial below. I hope you find it useful.
For another 20 benefits check out www.samadhiyogaashram.com