Adho Mukha Shvanasana
A.K.A Downward Facing Dog!
This is one of the most common poses in yoga and also one of the most beneficial.
Hands should be placed down about shoulder width apart with your fingers spread wide. Feet are placed hip width apart. Shoulder blades come together onto your back while you try to melt your heart down towards the floor. Let the head hang heavy, no tension in the neck. Even if you don't practice yoga you can simply hold this pose for 1 minute every day (increase time as it gets easier) while slowly bending one knee at a time and pressing down through the opposite heel. This is known as walking the dog.
This simple daily practice only takes a minute or two and will help to:
- elongate your spine
- naturally adjust any areas of tightness
- open your chest and create space in the shoulders
- strengthen the arms
- stretch out the back of your legs
- get your blood flowing
I love doing downward facing down first thing in the morning when I roll out of bed, no mat required!
Some more variations of downdog are sown below.