DOWNWARD-FACING DOG (Adho Mukha Shvanasana)

   

Contra-indications: Sciatica - don't straighten the knees. High blood pressure or headache - support the head on a bolster or block, with ears level between the arms.

How to perform: Begin on the hands and knees with the hips directly on top of the knees and the shoulders on top of the wrists, then move the hands one hand length forward. Spread the palms, middle fingers parallel, and turn the toes under. Exhale and lift the hips up and back, pressing the chest towards the knees until the arms are in line with the torso. To broaden the shoulders press the base of the index fingers actively into the floor and try pressing your forearms towards each other and simultaneously pushing the upper arms away from each other. Keeping the knees slightly bent lengthen through the arms and spine creating a straight line of energy from the wrists to the pelvis. Then keeping the back long, straighten the knees by firming the thighs but be sure not to lock them. The weight should be evenly distributed between the hands and heels. The heels will not touch the floor but work to bring the heels further down. Hold 6-12 breaths then bend the knees to the floor with an exhalation and rest in Balasana.

Do not bring the hands closer to the feet in order to ground the heels to the floor - the back will tend to round.

Do keep the head between the upper arms - don't let it hang. Firm the shoulder blades against the back, then widen them and draw them toward the tailbone. Keep the pelvis in neutral position and the spine naturally curved.

What if... my back gets rounded when I straighten my knees? Keep the knees bent and lift the sitting bones toward the ceiling, constantly extending through the spine.

Benefits: Deeply stretches the back, opens the chest, and builds upper body strength. Improves blood circulation to the heart and the brain. Stimulates the liver and kidneys. Encourages blood flow to the sinuses, ultimately helping to ease congestion. Prevents complications of secondary infections by draining the lungs. Energizes the body and at the same time calms the brain and helps to relieve stress and depression.

 
Comments
Search
Only registered users can write comments!

Basic Knowledge

  • Chanting Om Mantras originated in the Vedic tradition of India and can be defined as sounds, syllables, words, or group of words that are capable of creating transformation. The most widely known and universal mantra...
  • Yoga Nidra I was very lucky to learn yoga nidra (yogic sleep), a powerful raja (royal) yoga technique of conscious relaxation, during my first stay in India in 2004. I spent a month in a Bihar School of Yoga ashram in Bangalore where...
  • Hasta Mudras   yo   The Sanskrit word mudra can be translated as “to seal, close, or lock up” or “gesture, symbol, expression of”. Mudras in yoga are the combination of subtle physical movements which...
  • Yoga and Hatha Yoga People have different ways of understanding and describing yoga but not many see yoga as a systematic complete discipline that includes practices for the physical part as well as the subtler layers of...
  • Yoga Nidra's 6 NOs NO expectations First of all, while practicing yoga nidra, don't aim at going deep. That is the greatest mistake. Try to be spontaneous, relaxed, and very much at peace with yourself. Even if the brain...
  • 1
  • 2

Pranayama

  • Cooling Breath (Sheetali Pranayama )       Contraindications: Low blood pressure, chronic constipation, respiratory disorders. How to perform: Sit comfortably, keep the eyes gently closed and relax the whole body. Stick your...
  • Alternate nostril breathing (Nadi Shodhana) The practice of nadi shodhana (alternate nostril breath) restores, equalizes and balances the flow of prana in the body. The word shodhana means to cleanse or purify, the word nadi refers to the network...
  • Victorious breath (Ujjayi breath) Ujjayi in Sanskrit means "victorious”,  and it comes from two words: ud  that meaning "bondage" and ji which is translated as "conquering", therefore ujjayi is the breath which gives freedom from...
  • About Pranayama We can live without eating for some weeks, without drinking for some days, but without breathing only for a few minutes. Breath is life, however most people rarely or never pay any attention...

Site Search

Google Translate

English Chinese (Simplified) Chinese (Traditional) French German Hindi Italian Norwegian Polish Russian Spanish Swedish Maltese

Asanas Sequence

  • 1
  • 2

FAQ

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8

ZoyaYoga Twitter

zoyayoga's avatar
Zoya Lu zoyayoga

Students Feedback

  • Private Lessons More than a teacher, Zoya is a healer of mind, body and spirit. She brings awareness of, and opens the pathways between them. Zoya taught me how to discover...
  • Vinyasa Yoga Dearest Zoya,   Thanks to YOU for sharing your teaching with an open heart - for your dedication sending regular emails and updates online to keep. I...
  • De-stress Yoga Thanks alot for the yoga classes, Zoya. It has opened another world for me. It was my doctor who recommended yoga for me to relax and bring down my blood...
  • Hatha Yoga Intermediate Course (HYIC) Zoya brings yoga to her students in a very holistic way. Her website and the work that she is doing are amazing and her sharing is so generous. Besides...
  • Hatha Yoga Foundation Course (HYFC) Since I started Yoga I have learned how to relax and be more peaceful with myself. I am always looking forward to my next class as there is always new...
  • 1
  • 2