Asana: Adho Mukha Svanasana

1 Jan

Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose) is one of the foundational asanas in yoga pratice.

This is a gentle inversion which tones the wrists, shoulders, abdominal core, legs, and ankles.  Breathe slowly and fully as you practice, and come into Balasana or Table to rest.  Notice sensation in your body, and please come out of the pose if you feel pain.

Adho Mukha Svanasana is credited to

  • reduce depression
  • relieve anxiety
  • energize the body
  • calm the brain and gently stimulate the nerves
  • slow the heartbeat
  • relieve menopause symptoms
  • reduces heavy menstrual flow
  • relieve sinusitus
  • relieve insomnia, headache, fatigue, backache
  • improve digestion
  • relieve sciatica
  • strengthen flat feet
  • regulate blood pressure
  • tone & strengthen the quadriceps, (legs) and infraspinatus, teres minor, anterior deltoids (shoulders), triceps (arms), erector spinae, quadratus lumborum, psoas, and abdominal core, and psoas, quadriceps, rectus femoris, tensor fascia lata, gluteus medius, tibialis anterior and extensor hallicus longus (legs)
  • stretch the plantar fascia (arches of the feet), the gluteus maximus, gastrocnemius, gracillis, soleus, biceps femoris, semimembranosus, semitendinosus (hamstrings), shoulder girdle, pectoralis


Approach these asanas slowly and mindfully. If something hurts, back out of the pose gently and reassess. Do not ever push through pain. The techniques and suggestions presented in these videos are not intended to substitute for medical advice. Consult your physician before beginning any new exercise program. Jessie Tierney and YogAscent/Horseback Yoga videos and website assume no responsibility for injuries suffered while practicing these techniques. If you are new to exercise or yoga, are elderly, have any chronic or recurring conditions such as high blood pressure, neck or back pain, arthritis, heart disease, and so on, seek your physician’s advice before practicing to determine necessary precautions.

6 Responses to “Asana: Adho Mukha Svanasana”


  1. Yoga for Low Back Pain | YogAscent: Heighten Your Practice - March 30, 2014

    […] from helping to strengthen the shoulders, hips, thighs, knees, and ankles, Adho Mukha Svanasana helps reduce anxiety and alleviates depression.  This is such a powerful posture for many […]


  2. Back Care Vinyasa II: Upper Back, Neck & Shoulder Love | YogAscent: Heighten Your Practice - September 3, 2014

    […] them around your ribcage while keeping the strap taught. Exhale to lower your knees to the floor.  Click here for alternatives and more work in the […]


  3. Back Care Vinyasa II: Upper Back, Neck & Shoulder Love | Jessie Tierney - September 10, 2014

    […] them around your ribcage while keeping the strap taught. Exhale to lower your knees to the floor.  Click here for alternatives and more work in the […]


  4. Koundinya's pose yoga for beginners - Must Have Yoga Gear - February 25, 2015

    […] in Adho Mukha Svanasana, hands shoulder width apart. Step your left foot far forwards, past the outside of your left arm. […]


  5. Amsa Yoga Studio of Columbia, SC: Chaturanga Dandasana - Must Have Yoga Gear - March 18, 2015

    […] out in downward facing dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana). Be rooted and firm, spreading your fingers wide, rooting down through the palms and sending the […]


  6. 20-Minute Flexibility Yoga Class for Moms - CafeMom Yoga Studio - Must Have Yoga Gear - March 21, 2015

    […] sequence includes: Standing forward bend (Uttanasana) Downward facing dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana) Humble warrior (Baddha Virabhadrasana) Warrior two upper body with arms in downward dog Hip […]


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