Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward Facing Dog):
Commonly known as a resting pose between asanas (poses) as well as an inversion. Downward Facing Dog has many benefits: it strengthens the entire body such as the arms, shoulders, chest and legs. This pose stretches the chest, shoulders, and whole back side of the body including your ankles, calves, hamstrings, and spine.Downward Facing Dog also helps calm the mind, stimulates blood circulation, and neutralizes the spine between backbends and forward bends.
1.Start on all fours (on your hands and knees) and bring your hands slightly forward of your shoulders.
2.Spread the fingers wide and make sure your middle fingers are pointing forward.
3.Press through the outer edges of the palm and the fingertips. Imagine clawing into the ground to create a little suction cup of air in the middle of your palm or Hasta Bandha.
4.Keep your upper arms and shoulders rotated outwards while your forearms rotate in.
5.Tuck your toes under and be sure your feet are hip distance apart.
6.On every exhale, engage your lower belly (Uddiyana Bandha) drawing the navel back to the spine. Press the floor away from you as you lift your hips up and back to push yourself into an upside-down V-pose.
7.Keep your knees initially bent to lengthen the spine as you press your chest back towards the thighs. Then, if possible, straighten the legs while maintaining the length in your spine taking the top of the thighs and knees back.
8.Draw your shoulder blades down along the spine, while keeping the space across the top of the shoulders open in order to release any tension in the neck.
9.Your Dristi or point of concentration is in between the legs or up at the navel.
10.Take 5-10 breaths, then bring yourself back to all four and into a Child’s Pose (Balasana).
More Information and Helpful Tips:
Dristi: In between the legs or up at the navel.
Build-Up Poses: Plank (Phalakasana), Forward Fold (Uttanasana),
Counter Poses:Upward Facing Dog (Urdvah Mukha Svanasana),
Child's Pose (Balasana).