By Moira Khouri NC MH HHP CCP YT
Also commonly known as Downward Facing Dog, this powerful asana encourages the development of mental concentration and an intuitive sense of the alignments within the body.
DOING ADHO MUKHA SVANASANA
Begin in standing pose with feet hip width apart; inhale and draw your shoulders up and back to open your chest. Exhale slowly while folding your upper body forward until parallel to the floor, keeping a straight back. Plant both palms on the floor right below your shoulders and hold, pressing your hips upward. Walk your hands forward until you feel the stretch and are making a perfect inverted V shape with your hips pressing upward. Keep your breath flowing smoothly as you hold the pose. Scan yourself, feel or sense any areas of tightness, strength, weakness, flexibility in your body, and send your breath to any areas of tightness. Feel the relaxation initiated by the steady flow of your breathing. As you relax into the pose, check in with yourself for misalignments.
Draw in the core muscles and hold to create mid-body strength; draw the tailbone downward, lengthening the spine, to stretch out areas of tightness and correct misalignments. If you’d like a challenge try the variation Three Legged Dog, in which you finish the asana by lifting one leg at a time, stretching it up high, pointing the heel to the ceiling and stretching, oh… and keep breathing!
To come out of the asana just walk your hands back towards your feet until you are in a forward fold, drop gently down into Child’s Pose for a few precious breaths, then roll over and assume Savanana (Corse pose) and enjoy the relaxing and strengthening benefits of Downward Facing Dog.
Energizes; opens up arms, shoulders, back and legs; Heightens awareness of alignments within the body. Serves as a cooling down asana during fast flows; has the energizing effects of an inversion asana, it offers calm, and total body lengthening and strengthening.
http://yogaflavoredlife.com Asana Paintbrush Artwork by Charlotte Bradley