Adho Mukha Svanasana

Adho Mukha Svanasana


This posture is an all-over well being pose to include in your yoga practise. Ensuring that the full body is connected within this posture will provide you with many benefits for both the body and mind.

How to do it

  1. This posture resembles a ‘mountain’ or an ‘upside down-V’ shape.
  2. You may start by coming to your hands and knees with a straight back and the crown of your head facing forward.
  3. Ensure that your spine is in line with your head.
  4. Ensure that your knees are hip distance apart with your shins and calfs running behind in a straight line.
  5. Spread your fingers out, creating stability in your upper body.
  6. Tucking your toes under and taking a breath in through the nose, start to raise the hips upwards, raising your knees from the ground and encourage your legs to slowly straighten..
  7. Pushing into the ground gently with your palms, take the motion of pushing away from the wrists, encouraging the chest towards the direction of your thighs (this will encourage the weight to shift from your wrists into your lower body).
  8. Start to ease your heels down towards the floor, feeling a deep stretch in the backs of the legs.
  9. Your head should be in line with your arms and your neck should be loose and elongated.
  10. Your tailbone should be reaching up towards the ceiling at the same time as your heels are lowering towards the ground.
  11. Stomach muscles are engaged, creating support and stability to the spine.
  12. … and BREATHE!!!!!


Adho Mukha Svanasana, or Downward-Facing Dog pose, is a foundational posture in yoga with numerous physical and mental benefits. Here are some of the key benefits of this pose:

  1. Strengthens the body: Adho Mukha Svanasana strengthens the arms, shoulders, core, and legs, improving overall physical strength and stability.
  2. Improves flexibility: This posture stretches the hamstrings, calves, and spine, improving overall flexibility and mobility in the body.
  3. Reduces stress and anxiety: Adho Mukha Svanasana helps to calm the mind and reduce stress and anxiety, promoting a sense of relaxation and wellbeing.
  4. Stimulates circulation: The inverted nature of this pose helps to increase blood flow to the brain, improving circulation and oxygenation throughout the body.
  5. Relieves back pain: This posture can help to relieve tension in the lower back, reducing pain and discomfort.
  6. Improves digestion: Adho Mukha Svanasana can help to stimulate the digestive system, improving digestion and reducing bloating and constipation.
  7. Enhances focus and concentration: Practicing this pose requires focus and concentration, which can help to improve mental clarity and enhance overall cognitive function.

Overall, Adho Mukha Svanasana is a versatile and beneficial posture that can help to improve physical strength and flexibility, reduce stress and anxiety, and promote overall health and wellbeing.

Overcoming obstacles

While Adho Mukha Svanasana, or Downward-Facing Dog pose, is a foundational posture in yoga with numerous benefits, there are some common obstacles that practitioners may encounter. Here are a few of them:

  1. Tight hamstrings: Tight hamstrings can make it difficult to fully extend the legs in this posture, which can result in strain on the lower back or shoulders.
  2. Stiff shoulders: Stiff shoulders can make it challenging to fully rotate the arms and extend the spine in this posture, which can lead to discomfort or pain.
  3. Wrist pain: Practitioners who have wrist pain or weakness may find it uncomfortable to support their body weight on their hands in this posture.
  4. Neck pain: Tension or strain in the neck can make it uncomfortable to hold the head in a neutral position in this posture.
  5. Fatigue: Holding this posture for an extended period of time can be challenging, particularly for beginners or those with lower levels of physical fitness.

To overcome these obstacles, it’s important to approach Adho Mukha Svanasana with patience, awareness, and proper alignment. Practitioners can modify the posture as needed to accommodate their individual needs and limitations, and use props such as blocks or straps to support their practice. Additionally, practicing preparatory postures such as Puppy Pose or Thread the Needle can help to release tension in the shoulders and prepare the body for the demands of Adho Mukha Svanasana.

Yoga Poses


Adho Mukha Svanasana

Virabhadrasana I

Urdhva Mukha Svanasana

Urdhva Hastasana