(AH-doh MOO-kah shvah-NAHS-anna) adho = downward mukha = face svana = dog
Adho mukha svanasana aka downward facing dog is done in every yoga class, so it should be easy right? Wrong! Truly it's about as easy as it's Sanskrit name is pronounced. Yes, it's a staple in every yoga class due to it's multitude of benefits but the pose in itself is meant for the more advanced yogi. So if you find yourself gasping for breath, hamstrings burning, and elbows bending fret not young guru. We've compiled some helpful tips to ease you into the asana as well as a list of benefits to keep you coming back.
For the Young Dog:
-If you are very tight in the hamstrings widen your legs a bit further than your hips and bend the knees
-For those tight in the shoulders try propping your hands up on blocks
-Pay attention most to your spine, focus on lengthening and straightening it
-Calms the brain and helps relieve stress and mild depression
-Energizes the body
-Stretches the shoulders, hamstrings, calves, arches, and hands
-Strengthens the arms and legs
-Potentially relieves headache, insomnia, back pain, and fatigue
No matter what level you're at remember to breathe. Every day is different so honor your body where it is in the moment. As they say, if it doesn't challenge you it doesn't change you. Keep coming back to your mat as much as you can and let the asana reveal it's ancient secrets and wisdom. Through repetition, breath and persistence... we can find grace.