Adho Mukha Śvānāsana - Down Face Dog (Using Blocks and Wall)


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

  1. Place yoga mat with its narrow end to a wall.

  2. Take two yoga blocks (or firm large books) and place them against the wall to the outer edges of the mat.

  3. Place two blocks about three quarters of the way back on the mat, mat width apart.

  4. Place the palms on the blocks with fingers turned out so that the thumbs and index fingers are able to push into the wall.

  5. Step the feet back so that the heel bones can be lowered onto the blocks.

  6. Push the hands against the wall and lengthen the back of the body away from the wall.

  7. Draw the side ribs in and stretch the front of the body towards the wall.

  8. Lift the knee caps up and draw the top of the thigh bones and the hips away from the wall, in sync with the front body’s movement towards it.

  9. Maintain the stretch whilst releasing the crown of the head towards the floor.

  10. Let the brain become passive and allow the breath to find a deeper rhythm.

  11. Stay for 10 to 20 breaths and descend to your hands and knees then to heel sitting, for a further 5 to 10 breaths.