Adho Mukha Śvānāsana - Down Face Dog (Using a Wall)

Adho Mukha Svanasana.JPG

(ah-doh moo-kah shwa-NAH-sa-na) AHS-ahna

(ah-doh moo-kah shwa-NAHS-ahna)

Adho = downwards; mukha = face; śvānā = dog.

  1. Turn your back to the wall behind you and come to your hands and knees with your hands at least three quarters of the way along your mat (or further, depending on height). Have your feet just ahead of the wall, so that when you rise into the asana the heels will be up on the wall, while the balls of the feet remain on the floor.

  2. Lift up, keeping the hands level and placing the heels on the wall. Begin to stretch your armpits resisting proportionately with the shoulder blades as you drive the armpits in (towards the back chest).

  3. Keep the head releasing from a wide collar line, incorporating the collarbone area, the deltoid muscles at the top of the arms, and the upper edge of the shoulder blades.

  4. Press the heels into the wall, which will draw the kneecaps back and, in a ‘proportionately parallel’ movement, draw up to create space in the front knees, feeding the lift from the popliteal fossa at the back knees.

  5. Draw the head of the thighs back opening the front groins and extending the lower back.

  6. Rest in Vajrasana/diamond or thunderbolt pose/heel sitting, with your feet facing the wall.