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Adho Mukha Svanasana is also known as Downward Dog or Downward-Facing Dog and this pose is very popular in Hatha Yoga posture or asana.

Adho Mukha Svanasana position is with the hand and knees on the floor. Hands under the shoulders and fingers spread wide. Keep your spine straight while putting your knees under the hip.

On a deep breath out, the hips are pushed toward the maximum (upper limit) then your body looking like V-shape. Legs and arms are straight. Elbows engaged and shoulders wide. Then relaxed and the heels move toward the floor. Hands and feet remain hip-width separately. If the hamstrings are very strong or tight, the knees should be bent to let the spine stretch fully.

Avoid the pressure on the wrists by pressing into the fingers and palms, direct push the upward into the hips. The head drops naturally. The heart moves toward the back wall.

The hips move up and back. Focus on the breath while holding the pose, takes a deep, steady breath in and breathe out that makes the flow of energy through the body. Most important is to maintain a slow, rhythmic, sustaining breath. On breath out, the practitioner releases on the hands, knees and rests.


Teachers and practitioners of yoga believe that the benefits of Downward Dog include:

  1. Stretches the shoulders, legs, and spine.
  2. Builds strength throughout the body.
  3. Provides an overall body stretch.
  4. Removes fatigue and rejuvenates the body.
  5. Increases blood flow to the sinuses.
  6. Strengthens the immune system.
  7. Calms the mind and lifts the spirits.
  8. Improves digestion.
  9. Strengthens arms, legs, and feet.

This posture is not recommended when the wrists are sensitive or injured. Modifications of this Adho Mukha Svanasana Yoga are advised in that instance.

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