Yoga India Foundation

Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward-Facing Dog) – Benefits, Adjustment & Cautions

Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward-Facing Dog) – Benefits, Adjustment & Cautions

The words Adho Mukha Svanasana come from the Sankrit. Adho means Downward, mukha stands for facing and Svan means dog. The Downward-facing Dog Posture is also known as Down Dog. Often Adho Mukha Svanasana is seen to be the same as Parvatasana or Mountain Pose, but it is not! Today we discuss with you the step-by-step instructions, benefits, and cautions of this pose.

Instructions for Adho Mukha Svanasana or Downward Facing Dog:

  1. Stand in Tadasana and close your feet together
  2. Inhale raise your arms up
  3. Exhale and bend forward
  4. Place your hands next to your feet and jump back
  5. Open your feet hip wide apart
  6. Straighten your arms and legs
  7. Reach your heels to the ground
  8. Keep your spine straight
  9. Your head, neck, and spine should be in one line

Note: Don’t arch your back! In Adho Mukha Svan Asana the legs are separated and the back is always straight. Don’t confuse Parvatasana.


Benefits of Adho Mukha Svanasana:

  • Strengthens the legs, arms, and back
  • Improves the flexibility of the hamstrings and calf muscles
  • Increases strength in the neck and shoulders
  • Improves the blood circulation in the legs



Avoid Adho Mukha Svanasana if you have high blood pressure or an injured Achilles tendon.

Practicing Yoga Safely

To be sure that you practice an asana correctly, we recommend learning with an experienced and qualified teacher.

Lots of online materials, Youtube videos, and Instagram instructions make it easy to practice at home. Nevertheless, you should be careful about your alignment and postures. Not every pose is suitable for everyone! Also, literally, anyone can upload videos and photos without being a qualified teacher. So make sure you actually practice with an experienced teacher who can guide you individually and teach you how to practice yoga safely. This does not only ensure the maximum benefit, it also reduces the risk for injuries.


Doing a Yoga Training to expand your Yoga Practice and Knowledge

If you haven’t heard of it already, Yoga Teacher Training is an intensive yoga course which advances your yoga practice and knowledge tremendously. It enhances every aspect of your life by providing you with yogic techniques, tools, and practices for a happy, peaceful and healthy life. Usually, a yoga teacher’s training takes 3-4 weeks and covers 200 Hours in total.