AnatomyFeet, Hamstrings, Hands, Shoulders, Spine
Pose TypeForward Bend, Inversion, Resting
Adho Mukha Svanasana (AH-doh MOO-kah shva-NAH-sun-uh) adho = downward mukha = face svana = dog
- Stretches your hips, hamstrings, and calves
- Strengthens your ankles, quadriceps, and shoulders
- Tones your abdominal muscles
- Decompresses the spinal column
- Removes fatigue
- Carpal tunnel syndrome or arthritis
- High blood pressure
- Eye or inner ear infection
- Late-term pregnancy
- Come into a tabletop (hands and knees) position.
- Spread your fingers and bring your wrist crease parallel to the front of your mat. Press downward into your hands. Pay special attention to root the index finger and thumb.
- Curl your toes under and lift your hips up and back, creating an inverted “V” shape with your body.
- Place your feet hip-width distance apart and your hands shoulder-width distance apart.
- Press down and forward through the knuckles and rotate your biceps forward. Squeeze your elbows toward each other and lift the inner armpit.
- Root your shoulder blades against your back ribs.
- Draw your belly button in towards your spine.
- Firm your quadriceps and slightly rotate the inner thighs back. Press your heels toward the floor.
- Relax your neck and rest your gaze toward your ankles.
MODIFY OR REPLACE
- Tight shoulders: Place your hands wider than your shoulders and angle your fingers out toward the corner of your mat.
- Tight hamstrings: Bend your knees or take your legs further apart.
- Wrist sensitivity: Go on your forearms or place hands on a wedge-shaped block.
- Anytime in your sequence
- Especially nice after deep backbends
- Spread your fingers and draw your forearms together.
- Lift your hips and press down through your heels.
- Engage your core.
- Dolphin pose (Makarasana)
- Puppy pose (Anahatasana)
- Bharmanasana (Tabletop pose)
WATCH OUT FOR
- Arching or rounding of the back
- Hyperextension in the knees or elbows
- Hunching shoulders