Adho mukha svanasana (pronounced AH-doh MOO-kah shavah-NAHS-ana) is a wonderful pose because energy is generated, or restored, in this pose. The term “adho” means downward; “mukha” means face; and “shvana” means dog.  Wrists, hands, ankles, and feet are engaged and strengthened when you do this pose. The core of the body is engaged, such that the stomach muscles are drawn in and the diaphragm is lifted. The shoulders are also engaged, helping you to remain supple in a region prone to tightness.

 

How To Practice 

You can start this asana flat on the floor, palms flat and resting by your sides, poised for pushing your tailbone upward. You can also start in the push-up (plank) position. Keep your legs straight and feet pointed forward. Your feet should be flat to the ground if you can, although you might have to work up to this, while you lift your hips into the air, forming an inverted V-shape ( ^ ). You can bring your head low enough to touch the ground, but only after taking note of the ease of getting it there. Otherwise, leave your head in natural alignment with the arms, so as not to overtax your shoulders or arms.

 

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