For beginning practitioners, the Downward Facing Dog pose will probably be one of the first asanas they learn about when they start practicing yoga. As a rule, no yoga practice is without the Downward Facing Dog. For beginners, this pose may seem difficult to perfor

m, but over time, through your regular yoga practice, it may become one of your favorite asanas to perform as a resting pose. In our article, we’ll look at how to perform the Dog Face Down pose correctly, when you should not practice it, what modifications exist for both beginners and advanced practitioners, and what energetic and therapeutic effects this pose has.

Downward Facing Dog Pose
Downward facing dog, or Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Sanskrit: अधोमुखश्वानासन: adhas ‘down’, mukha ‘face’, śvan ‘dog’) is one of the most famous yoga postures and refers to inversions or bends. It gets its name from the fact that the position of the body reminds one of a dog that stretches. This name is not found in many medieval yoga texts, but there is a reference to a similar posture, the Gajāsana or elephant pose.

Adho Mukha Shvanasana is recommended to be performed at the beginning of the yoga practice as a pose that prepares the body for the yoga practice. It is one of the asanas of the Sun Salutation (Surya Namaskar), which consists of 12 body positions, among which the Downward Facing Dog is found twice. In the Bihar School of Yoga this pose is called Parvatasana or Mountain Pose, the starting pose is Ashva Sanchalanasana (rider’s pose), and this is followed by Ashtanga Namaskarasana (eight-pointed bow pose). The Downward Facing Dog is also considered a rest pose which can be done between asanas because it releases tension and relieves fatigue. It is part of many vinyas in yoga. “Downward facing dog” is a compensatory for the upward facing dog bend (Urdhva Mukha Shvanasana). Because vinyasa are built on the principle of compensation, these asanas tend to follow each other. Adho Mukha Shvanasana can be performed in sequences of vinyasa such as: 1) Urdhva Chaturanga Dandasana – Adho Mukha Shvanasana – Urdhva Mukha Shvanasana – Balasana; 2) Marjariasana – Adho Mukha Shvanasana – Eka Pada Raja Kapotasana (preparatory version) – right leg is carried forward – Adho Mukha Shvanasana – Eka Pada Raja Kapotasana (preparatory version) – left leg – forward.

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