Downward Dog Yoga: 6 Amazing Facts To Know

Downward dog yoga, also known as Adho Mukha Svanasana, is a yoga poster pose crucial in contemporary practice, which is why it is the best-known asana.

Generally, it is the first yoga pose every beginner would learn during a yoga practice. It is done numerous times in yoga classes and mostly in Vinyasa Yoga.

It is a known transitional pose of all time and maybe a resting position. Sun salutation sequence also consists of this downward dog yoga pose.

Right now you might be having questions like, what are the benefits of the downward dog pose? Why is a downward dog so important in yoga? Is downward dog yoga good? Read on to find out the answers to all these questions!

Benefits of Downward Dog Yoga

Depositphotos 81483758 S
Group of People Relaxing and Doing Yoga. Practicing Downward Dog. Wellness and Healthy Lifestyle/EpicStockMedia via Depositphotos

I. Steps to Practice Downward Dog Yoga

Anyone can do this asana or yoga on a yoga mat just by lying. Here are the steps to be followed for this yoga san:

  1. Keep your hands and knees along the wrists underside of the shoulders, and the knees should be underside the hips.
  2. Twist the toes below and push backward past your hands to raise your hips and straighten your legs.
  3. Expand your fingers and rub from your forearms into your fingertips.
  4. Then, twist your upper arms to widen the collarbones on the outer side.
  5. Then hang your head and proceed your shoulder blades away from your ears in the direction of your hips.
  6. Your quadriceps should be strong to take a load of your body off your arms.
  7. Twist your thighs in, keep the tail higher, and sink the heels towards the floor.
  8. Now check the distance between the hands and feet by impending ahead to a position of the plank. The distance between both the feet and hands should be the same in both poses.
  9. Don’t step your feet ahead of your hands in a down dog to get the heels to the floor.
  10. Blow out and curve the knees to free and back to your knees and hands.

You can also bring your head up to the ground, but it is an advanced method of doing the asana, which also tends to enhance hypertension at the shoulder side and may lead to instability.

So, before attempting to bring your head to the ground, there is a lot more to work on the texture and yoga pose. So, until you become perfect at your usual posture, it is preferable not to try the advanced method.

II. Benefits of Downward Dog Yoga

Yoga is the type of exercise that helps you have a fit and healthy life. All type of yoga and poses have their benefits. Particular yoga san benefits particular body parts and organs of the body.

There are many health benefits of practicing downward dog yoga, from physical to mental benefits.

Here are some of them:

1. Strengthens your Bones

Adho Mukha Svanasana, or Downward dog yoga, is a weight-carrying exercise and thus will strengthen your bones naturally.

Practicing this downward dog pose will enhance your upper body strength, but the downward dog yoga pose will also make your shoulders work smoothly.

2. Strengthens your Arms

Downward Dog yoga improves the strength of your body, mainly your arms.

If you want your arms to be more muscular and toned, make sure to suppress your arms against the yoga mat and engage your muscles with the components. Do it regularly, and you can observe the changes.

3. Stretches your Back

The Adho Mukha Svanasana, or downward dog yoga, also helps strengthen your back and relieve your back pain.

As you stretch, the oxygen supply in the different parts of your body will also be better. If practiced every day, the Adho Mukha Svanasana or downward dog yoga will help you stay happy and strong.

4. Works on the back of your Legs

Not only the spine but also your hamstring and calves will see the stretch of the yoga. Downwards dog yoga will help you open back your legs and stretch them as you need to work on the muscles at the backside of your leg since you might need to walk or stand for the whole day.

5. Improves Body Posture

The lousy body postures of anyone nowadays are a big deal in modern society. You can improve your body posture just by practicing this yoga pose.

This will lengthen your spine and also open up your shoulders. It will also ease neck and back pains.

6. Improves the Flow of Blood to the Brain

When your heart is above your head, you are in an inverted V position that improves the flow of blood to your head.

This yoga daily practice will relieve you from tension, enhance your focus, and fill you with energy. This will also charge you up.

7. Tones your Core

Downward dog yoga works on various parts of your body and also enhances your core.

Adho Mukha Svanasana Also tones up the lower abdominal region of your body. This asana can also be practiced to strengthen the core and lower the fat from the abdomen.

8. Stimulates Blood Flow

When you are practicing downward yoga, your heart gets placed above the head. And with the help of gravity, blood flow in your head gets stimulated.

Depositphotos 81483880 S
Group of People Relaxing and Doing Yoga. Practicing Downward Dog. Wellness and Healthy Lifestyle/EpicStockMedia via Depositphotos.

III. Things to Remember

If you are having carpal tunnel syndrome or a wrist injury, or you are in the last term of pregnancy, then this pose is not recommended for you to do.

If you are not allowed to let your head get below the level of your heart, such as the detached retina, high blood pressure, or recent dental bone grafts, you too should not do this Downward dog yoga.

Also, if you have had any eye surgery, then you should ignore this pose.

IV. Preparatory Poses of Downward Dog Yoga

When you are planning on practicing the Downward dog yoga pose, you should consider doing the preparatory poses as they will increase the effect of the downward yoga pose, and they also have many benefits.

Following are the preparatory poses for downward dog yoga.

1. Table Top pose and Balancing Table Pose

Depositphotos 475380820 S
Concentrated young woman practicing Dandayamana Bharmanasana or Balancing Table pose with resistance band on grey background in studio. Fitness, yoga and strength training concept/ via Depositphotos

The tabletop pose, also known as Bharmanasana in Sanskrit, is a basic yoga pose. In this, you are just planking on your knees and hands. This pose strengthens the wrists, arms, and shoulders and stretches your back.

A variant of this pose is the balancing table variant known as Dandayamana Bharmanasana in Sanskrit. In it, you extend your right arm and left leg forward and balance your body on the other leg and arm.

It benefits your abdomen and lower back. It strengthens your core and arm muscles. It also reduces your anxiety levels.

2. Eagle Pose

Depositphotos 374033386 S
The vertical frame of a young athletic attractive woman practicing yoga, performing Garudasan exercises in her arms, eagle pose, training, wearing sportswear/Oleg-blag1008 via Depositphotos

In Sanskrit, this pose is called Garudasan. Here is a picture of garudas; from it, you can have the idea of doing it. You have to balance your body in the pose given in the picture.

Garudasan stretches your hips, opens your lungs for more air, and helps in the opening of the shoulder. It strengthens your calves and improves your balance.

3. Cat & Cow Yoga

Depositphotos 22567383 S
Yoga seria: Marjaryasana/nanka-photo via Depositphotos

Cat & cow yoga is also known as Marjaryasana/Bitilasana in Sanskrit. Here, first, you be in the tabletop position. Then, as a first step, you pull your stomach upwards and look downwards, then you pull your stomach downwards and look upwards.

This yoga improves your posture and balance. It also massages your middle body organs like kidneys and liver. So in a way, this pose helps the body physically, mentally, and spiritually.

4. Cow Face Yoga

Depositphotos 311159892 S
Young woman practicing yoga doing Gomukhasana ( cow face pose) in a dark room. Wellbeing, meditation, and healthy lifestyle/Gladkov via Depositphotos

Gaumukhasan is the Sanskrit name for cow face pose. Here you bend your left knee and bring your feet beside your right hip, and similarly, you do it with your right leg.

Then you hold your hand behind your body, One hand from the upside and the other from the downside, just as shown in the picture. This pose is beneficial to people who suffer from chronic knee pain.

It helps with hip joint pain and cures sciatic infarction, stimulates kidneys, and enhances sexual performance.

5. Seated Forward Fold

Depositphotos 3831443 S
Woman doing a yoga exercise called Three-angled leg-facing forward bend, Sanskrit name: Trianga Mukhaikapada Pashchimottanasana, great pose as Sciatic Neuralgia relief, isolated on white/Ragnar via Depositphotos

The seated forward fold is called Pashchimottanasana in Sanskrit. In this, you sit with your legs straight-jointed, then you touch your toes with your fingers, and as you practice it more, you pull your body with your legs and hands, as shown in the picture.

This particular pose stretches your spine, and a regular reputation can help in lengthening the spine. It helps with digestive problems as it massages the internal organs. It stretches the hamstrings on the back of the legs.

6. Plank Pose

Depositphotos 3831507 S
Fit slim woman doing a yoga exercise called Plank Pose, Sanskrit name: Kumbhakasana, pose strengthens wrists, arms, shoulders, back, legs, and abdomen, lengthens the spine, isolated on white/Ragnar via Depositphotos

This pose is known as Kumbhakasana in Sanskrit. In this pose, you just stay in the position of doing push-ups.

This position benefits your posture, your flexibility, and your metabolism. It improves your body alignment. It helps in building your core and improves your overall mental health.

V. Follow-Up Poses

After knowing all the benefits of the downward dog yoga pose, you must be longing to include it in your schedule but After you are done with the downward dog yoga pose, There are some follow-up poses that you can prefer.

They are:

1. Bridge Pose

Depositphotos 371880542 S
Attractive Asian woman practices yoga Half bridge pose to meditation in the bedroom after waking up in the morning Feeling so comfortable and relaxed,Healthcare Concept/220Selfmadestudio via Depositphotos

In Sanskrit this pose is called Setu Bandha Sarvangasana. In this pose, you lift your hips and stomach with your legs and shoulders being the support while lying with your face upwards.

This pose is also for beginners and is very easy to practice. It helps strengthen your back, legs, and ankles and helps calm your body, and reduces stress to a certain level.

This pose also stretches your spine and helps in improving your body posture.

2. Child’s Pose

Depositphotos 9254015 S
Side view of mid-adult multiethnic woman wearing exercise clothing in child yoga pose/iofoto on Depositphotos

Another easy pose for beginners to enter the world of yoga. The name of this pose in Sanskrit is Balasan. Here, first, you rest on your knees, and then you sit on your ankles, then you place your head on the mat with your arms straight on the mat.

This pose helps stretch your spine, thighs, hips, and ankle. It also increases the blood circulation in your head. This pose also helps in digestion if it’s done regularly.

3. Supine Hero’s Pose

Depositphotos 113745464 S
little girl doing yoga on white background/Solstzia via Depositphotos

In Sanskrit, this pose is called Supta Virasana. In this pose, you lie on your back bent, your knees, and pulled beside the body with your hands straight, laying on your feet.

It stretches your hips, your knees, and your ankles; it also improves your posture and helps you with digestion and gas problems.

VI. Modification of Downward Dog Yoga

You can modify your texture by doing downward dog yoga by placing your hands on the wall.

For doing this, you need first to stand away from the wall, and the distance between you and the wall must be the length of your leg. To measure the length of your leg, you can sit on the ground and bring your feet to the wall.

Then, stand up and face towards the wall and place your hands on the wall to raise your hips. Push the hands against the wall and bring them back parallel to the ground. Sometimes you may also need to adjust how far are your feet from the wall to get parallel to the floor.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Is downward dog hard?

There is no denying that the Downward Dog position is difficult. It might be challenging to focus on all of the minute alignment and movement indications while remaining relaxed. But when you master it, it becomes very beneficial!

2. What is an easy version of the downward dog?

Your hands should be closer to the floor as you approach the correct position. Furthermore, you can extend your legs more as you raise your hands higher.

3. How long does it take to get a perfect downward dog?

The position should be held with its back to the ground for at least half a minute. The stretch and relaxation of the muscles increase when the stretch is kept for a longer period. This is how you learn to nail the pose.


If you go to yoga classes, you may hear your yoga teacher say that downward dog yoga is like a resting pose. When you are new to learning this yoga, you may feel like it’s just a resting asana because in this downward dog yoga whole body workout is done quite nicely.

It uses your shoulders, hands, core, legs, arms, feet, and mental focus in your work.

Although once you are done with the pose, and you become great at it, then it may start to become like reset during a vigorous vinyasa practice or after doing some split leg lunge poses such as Triangle pose, Warrior 2, and Side angle.

Click here, to know about yoga poses for weight loss.

Last Updated on by gourvigupta


Rishika Agarwal

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *