Adhomukha Svanasana

(Downward-Facing Dog Pose)

Adho Mukha Svanasana teaches you to keep your arms straight, parallel, and shoulder-distance apart, and your feet and legs in a neutral, nonrotated position, parallel and hip-distance apart. It also teaches you to distribute weight equally in the arms and legs. It will be easier to learn these actions here, because Adho Mukha Svanasana is less disorienting than Urdhva Dhanurasana and can be held longer. Adho Mukha Svanasana is also known to promote steadiness of mind, a quality you want to cultivate to prepare for Urdhva Dhanurasana.

Start in Ralasana (Child's Pose) with your arms reaching forward, your hands shoulder-distance apart, and your elbows straight. Root down evenly through your knuckles to create some resistance, and lift the forearms away from the mat. Track your attention up your arms to the part of your shoulders that is closest to your ears. Lift your inner shoulders up toward the ceiling to broaden around the base of your neck. Simultaneously, firm your outer upper arms in to engage your triceps and keep your arms straight. Inhale as you come to all fours, then exhale and push back to Adho Mukha Svanasana. Focus



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