10 Major Benefits of Adho mukha svanasana or downward facing dog.
What is Adho mukha svanasana?
The meaning of this posture is Adho means Downward, Mukha means face and svana is Dog and asana is posture.
Most often we may have noticed a dog stretching itself with head and foreleg down and hind legs up. This we notice when the dog is awake from a nap.
Dogs and mammals which belong to the canine family do this after being sedentary for long hours and the stretching makes them ready for its next move.
The application is almost similar to human beings too.
How to do Adho mukha svanasana?
1. Lie down on the mat keeping the stomach and face down and maintain the distance of legs one foot apart.
2. Keep your palms next to the chest with fingers straight and pointing towards your head.
3. Exhale and press your palms down to raise your body up, this posture is dandasana or high plank.
4. Now slowly move your head inwards and simultaneously walk your legs forward to bring your body in an inverted “ V” shape.
5. Ensure the legs are stiff and knees are not bent and feet parallel to each other.
6. With regular practice and improvement of flexibility in shoulders, you must be able to touch the crown of your head on floor.
7. Retain this pose for one minute with deep breathing.
8. Bring the head which is inward and slowly lie down on the mat and relax.
Benefits of Adho Mukha svanasana or downward facing dog:
1. This posture is known to generate the lost energy due to fatigue or when you are exhausted.
2. Highly recommended for runners and they can perform this posture after getting tired due to hard race and also sprinters or fast runners develop speed and lightness in the legs.
3. Adho mukha svanasana when practiced regularly strengthens legs and ankles and makes them look toned.
4. This asana helps in relieving pain and stiffness in legs.
5. The constant stretch on heels may help to soften the calcaneal spur which gives pain on heels.
6. The effort to touch the crown of your head on the mat eradicates stiffness in shoulder blades.
7. The arthritis in the shoulder joints is relieved.
8. This posture can make you feel exhilarated.
9. Those who have started the practice of asana newly and have fear of inversion like sirshasana can practice this posture to derive the same benefit.
10. This asana rejuvenates the brain cells and stimulates the brain.
This posture is repeatedly done in hatha yoga Surya namaskar and ashtanga yoga suryanamaskar which prepares the yogi to get rejuvenated for performing the asana being steady and comfortable.