How do you perform the downward dog yoga position?


Quick Answer

The yoga pose of Downward-Facing Dog (also known as Adho Mukha Svanasana) is correctly performed by ensuring proper alignment, weight distribution, and hip and pelvic awareness as you move your body into an A shape. Arm strength is also important in this pose.

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Full Answer

  1. Begin on your knees

    Come into a kneeling position on a soft but firm surface. Place your knees directly below your hips and the palms of your hands very slightly in front of your shoulders. Spread your palms and fingers as wide as possible, pointing your middle fingers directly ahead, and tuck your toes under, lifting your heels up.

  2. Keep knees slightly bent as you lift off the floor and raise your hips

    Press firmly into the floor as you lift your knees off the floor, and raise your hips toward the ceiling. Bring your body into an A shape, and distribute your weight evenly across your palms.

  3. Draw shoulders back and straighten legs

    Draw your shoulder blades upward and back, away from your ears, and lift your sit bones toward the ceiling as you slowly straighten your legs without locking your knees. Press your pelvis forward as you do this, toward your arms. Ensure you are breathing deeply as the stretch deepens.

  4. Draw chest to thighs and lower heels toward the ground

    Draw your chest toward your thighs, and push the floor away from you as you lower your heels slowly toward the ground. Ensure your head and neck is between your upper arms, and continue to breathe deeply. To get out of the Downward-Facing Dog pose, slowly lower your knees to the floor.

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