Adho Mukha Svanasana – Downward dog pose
Body position/posture type: Inversion
Sit onto your heels and stretch your arms out in front of you in extended child’s pose. Spread the fingers,
middle finger pointing forward, and connect with the earth. Come on to all fours and tuck the toes under.
Draw the navel back towards the spine and begin to release through the waist as you roll the shoulders
outward and downward towards the waist, creating space in the chest.
Look forward toward the front of the mat maintaining the space in the shoulders and chest. There is an
outward spiralling effect happening from the rooted hands; as if you are opening a jam jar.
Inhale and as you exhale lift the hips to the sky. Draw the thigh bones back towards your hamstrings and
open through the back of the legs. Feel the strength of the arms and move into full extension. Continue to
connect with that outward spiralling of the arms creating space in the shoulder blade area.
Breathe into the lower ribs and elongate through the waist, heels grounding towards the earth. As you breathe here ask
yourself what energies can you build for yourself? Infuse your inner landscape with this energy as you
continue to breathe deeply.
This posture creates strength and space in the body, mind and heart. It shifts stagnant energy and removes
fatigue and sluggishness. Its helps relieve stiff shoulders whilst stretching the spine and hamstrings, and
strengthening the arms and legs. When practiced correctly, this posture stretches the whole body, exerting
a calming effect and bringing energy, vitality and therefore vibrant health.
Those with thigh, hamstring, shoulder or back problems, high/low blood pressure, or vertigo should
practice this posture with care.
Keep the knees bent to relieve tension through the whole back. Those with severe shoulder problems, weak
shoulders and back muscles should sit back onto the heels with toes turned under, keeping the hips above
the heart, arms extended forward. To lift the hips higher put a block, pillow or blanket between the back of
the thighs and calves.