Home Practice Adhomukha Swanasana (Downward facing dog)

Adhomukha Swanasana (Downward facing dog)

by Arundhati Baitmangalkar

The ever famous Adhomukha Swanasana. More commonly known as downward facing dog pose – a simple yet powerful yoga pose. Learn how to get the best downward dog in your yoga practice each time.

ORIGINAL NAME: Adhomukha Swanasana
ENGLISH TRANSLATION: Downward facing dog (Adho = downward, mukha = face, swana = dog, pose = asana)
LEVEL – Beginner
  • Start on your hands and knees – with the shoulders stacked over your wrists and knees under the hips. Spread the palms wide, fingertips reach away from the hand. Press down firmly into the mat with the center of the palm, fingers and fingertips pressing into the mat. Maintain equal weight on inner and outer edges of the palms.
  • Inhale, step back into high plank keeping the arms straight. Exhale, lift and pull back with the hips, letting your body resemble an inverted ‘V’. Keep both feet and palms shoulder width distance apart.
  • Drop the head. Keep the shoulder blades wide and pull the hips away from the head to keep the spine long.
  • Push the thighs back, knees straight and heels parallel to each other.
  • Hold for 30 seconds with continuous, uninterpreted breathing.
  • To come out of it, release back onto hands and knees.


  • Brings more blood flow to the heart, lungs and brain.
  • Beneficial in recovering from fatigue.
  • Strengthens arms and shoulders.
  • Turns the focus inward.
  • Helps the heart to rest and recover.
  • Extreme wrist issues.
  • Elevated blood pressure.
  • Distance between palms and feet are inadequate.
  • Feet and palms are not shoulder distance apart.
  • Legs bent.
  • Upper back rounded.
  • Too much weight on the arms.
  • If the spine is not extending, bend the knees towards the chest to lengthen the back.
  • Heels do not need to touch, especially if you are a beginner.
  • Breath- Inhale into high plank. Exhale to adhomukha swanasana
  • Duration – The form is important here, so more than just holding adhomukha swanasana, take time to build a good form.


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