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Adho Mukha Shvanasana

Downward Dog Pose

Downward-Facing Dog Pose

"Calmness radiates from even/fiber of my being."

A-dho Mu-kha Shvaan-aa-sa-na Adho = down, downward; mukha = face, facing;

shvana = dog


Come onto your hands and knees, with your hands directly beneath your shoulders, and your knees directly beneath your hips. Curl your toes under and on an exhalation, push down through your legs, and down and back through your arms. Lift through your sitbones and straighten your knees as much as possible while preserving the natural curves of your spine. Bring your arms into alignment with your torso, biceps alongside your ears. Your body now forms an inverted "V" (unless your knees are still bent).

Keep your neck long and in line with the rest of your spine, shoulders away from ears. Press your palms and the base of each finger firmly into the floor. Relax your heels toward the floor. Keep your shoulders and upper back broad.

Breathe smoothly and naturally as you hold the pose, continually lengthening your spine and lifting your sitbones. Mentally affirm, "Calmness radiates from every fiber of my being."

To exit, inhale and lengthen your spine, then exhale and bend your knees, releasing back onto hands and knees. (If you need to rest, come down into balasana.)

Pause to integrate the effects of the pose.