Downward Facing Dog Yoga Pose

Downward Facing Dog Yoga Pose is a standing pose that targets the hamstrings and calves and is ideal for yogis and yoginis at all levels.

sahasrara – the crown chakra
ajna – the third eye chakra
related poses
How To Do Downward Facing Dog Yoga Pose
  1. Begin by coming to your hands and knees, with your knees underneath your hips and your hands under your shoulders. Spread your fingers.
  2. Tuck your toes under and start to lift your knees off the ground. As you straighten out your knees, lift your hips up towards the sky. Your body should form an inverted V.
  3. Keep your arms firm and actively press your hands into the ground. Press your heels down to the ground. Widen your shoulders and move your hips back so that you lengthen your spine. Do not let your back round or bow. Do not allow your head to hang; hold it between your arms.
  4. Hold for one to three minutes.
  • Breathe deeply through each step.
  • If you are prone to headaches, high blood pressure or diarrhea, consult an instructor or doctor before attempting this pose.
  • If you are suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome, consult an instructor or doctor before attempting this pose.
If you’re having trouble opening your shoulders, brace your hands on a sturdy chair or pair of yoga blocks.
Stretches & Strengthens

All Muscles: Hand muscles, shoulders, spine, hamstrings, calves, feet, ankles

Target Muscles: Hamstrings, calves, shoulders

Health Benefits of Downward Facing Dog Yoga Pose
  • Relieves stress, anxiety and mild depression.
  • May treat symptom of insomnia and fatigue.
  • May relieve back and shoulder pain, menstrual pain, sinus problems and headaches.
  • Therapeutic for flat feet.
  • Improves digestion.
  • May help prevent osteoarthritis.

Sanskrit Name & Meaning

Sanskrit Name & Meaning

Adho Mukha Svanasana

(eh-KAH pa-dAH ah-doh moo-kah shvah-NAHS-anna)

adho: bottom, downward
mukha: face, mouth
svana: dog
asana: posture

History & Mythology

History & Mythology

There’s gotta be some history or mythology on this pose! We’ve looked high and low and have only come up with this message. Perhaps you have some information or resource for us to explore?