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Tips for a Perfect Down Dog

By 04/19/2023September 28th, 2023Yoga Asana, Yoga Teacher Training
Man in a perfect down dog pose on a yoga mat in front of windows

Downward Facing Dog, or Adho Mukha Shvanasana in Sanskrit, is a very common pose in a flowing sequence yoga class. This asana is an integral piece of Surya Namaskar, or Sun Salutations, and is very popular. The pose is technically an inversion, which means your body is tilted in a way so that your heart is elevated over your head.

Down dog is also commonly depicted as the most popular/universal pose representing the yoga practice because of how frequently it is used in a flow.

In this video, Patrick shares a 5 simple tricks that will get you into the perfect down dog, every single time. We’ve summarized the tips below:

Step #1: Lie on your belly

Step #2: Hands under your elbows with feet about one foot apart

Step #3: Curl your toes under without moving your hands and your feet

Step #4: Lift your hips

Step #5: Straighten your legs

What are the benefits of downward facing dog?

The yoga practice has been known to provide multiple benefits to its practitioners on and off the mat. As we look at Downward Facing Dog, we can explore some of the physical aspects of the pose that make it beneficial to the body, but also how those physical aspects play alongside the mental part of our being.

Physical benefits of Downward Facing Dog:

  1. More flexibility in the hamstrings
  2. Increased mobility
  3. Stretching of the low back
  4. Lengthening of the spine
  5. Strengthening of the shoulders

Mental benefits of Downward Facing Dog:

  1. More focus and attention on the breath, which calms the mind
  2. Decrease in stress
  3. Increase in blood flow to the heart, alleviating sluggishness
  4. Energizes the brain
  5. Enhanced focus and concentration

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