Adho Mukha Svanasana | Downward Facing Dog Pose

 In Asana Pose Feature

(AH-doh MOO-kah shvah-NAHS-anna)

Adho Mukha Svanasana - Downward Facing Dog Pose yoga technique

  • adho = downward
  • mukha = face
  • svana = dog


  • Calms the brain and helps relieve stress and mild depression
  • Energizes the body
  • Stretches the shoulders, hamstrings, calves, arches, and hands
  • Strengthens the arms and legs
  • Helps relieve the symptoms of menopause
  • Relieves menstrual discomfort when done with head supported
  • Helps prevent osteoporosis
  • Improves digestion
  • Relieves headache, insomnia, back pain, and fatigue
  • Therapeutic for high blood pressure, asthma, flat feet, sciatica, sinusitis

Modifications and Props

  • For difficulty in releasing and opening the shoulders, raise the hands off the floor on a pair of blocks or the seat of a metal folding chair.
  • To get a feel for the work of the outer arms, loop and secure a strap around your arms just above your elbows. Imagine that the strap is tightening inward, pressing the outer arms in against the bones. Against this resistance, push the inner shoulder blades outward.

Preparatory Poses

  • Plank Pose
  • Uttanasana

Contraindications and Cautions

  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Diarrhea
  • Pregnancy: Do not do this pose late-term.
  • High blood pressure or headache: Support your head on a bolster or block, ears level between the arms.

Start typing and press Enter to search