AAdho Mukha Svanasana (Downward Facing Dog)dho Mukha Svanasana - Downward Facing Dog by Sue Fuller

Adho Mukha Svanasana or Downward Facing Dog is a great posture. It will increase vitality and help eliminate fatigue. 

It will also help to balance the body by strengthening all of the muscles in the upper body.  Usually our legs are quite strong through standing and walking, so this posture helps to balance the top half of the body with the lower half of the body.

It will also release tension in the backs of the legs and the lower back and help to lengthen the spine.  When you perform this posture if you draw your navel back towards the spine you will work the core muscles and by focussing on your alignment and working to keep both sides of the body equal in length you can bring balance to your pelvis and lower back.

This posture assists with alignment and slowly builds the required strength for more challenging asanas.

Begin on your hands and knees. Curl your toes under, move your hips back and allow your knees to leave the floor. Exhale as you slowly unfold your legs to create a triangular shape with your body. Push down into the floor with your hands and direct your armpits towards the floor. Lift the lower abdominal muscles as you work to feel that both sides of the body are equal in length and that your hips are square. Hold this posture for ten slow breath cycles or for as long as you feel comfortable whilst focussing on your alignment.

This posture is not suitable for people with high or low blood pressure, or those with a hiatus hernia.  Always seek medical advice before commencing any new physical activity.

This posture is featured in many of the Yoga 2 Hear Improver level classes.

Sue Fuller is a leading yoga teacher with a range of over 60 audio yoga classes. Including Gentle Yoga classes for the absolute beginner and a range of beginner classes that guide you through techniques and practices to help you establish a strong foundation in Yoga.  Classes are available on both CD and MP3 from www.wellbeingworldonline.com or from www.yoga2hear.co.uk .