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Dog Upside Down: Zoom In On This Popular Yoga Pose

 Dog Upside Down: Zoom In On This Popular Yoga Pose

The downward facing dog is a classic in yoga. This position is found in functional training or mobility exercises. Although it is inevitable, positioning your dog facing downward is not always easy. In this article, discover the basics of a downward facing dog, our tips for getting the right posture and these benefits. Namaste!

The origins and method of placing the dog facing downward

In yoga, the term "downward facing dog" refers to one of the most common yoga exercises called "asanas" - as the various postures in yoga are called. In Sanskrit (the language in which yoga asanas are usually described), the downward facing dog pose is called "Adho Mukha Svanasana".

The body forms a triangle with the hips the highest point, while the hands and feet form the other two angles - like a V-shape. This posture is an integral part of any yoga class. Just like a shake,

 smooth whey protein is an integral part of your workout. The downward facing dog position is usually where you can rest for a while and start the next asana from it. In a sun salutation - the equivalent of a yoga warm-up - you always hold the downward facing dog.

With your body weight so heavily placed on your hands, arms and shoulders, downward facing dog posture, if done incorrectly, can cause injury over time. Just as you can't do push-ups correctly if

 you're not upright in the plank position, you also won't be able to transition properly to the next position from the incorrect dog-down position. So the bad habits of a poorly performing dog quickly creep into a lot of yoga practice.

This is why it is worth learning how to properly perform a downward facing dog from the start, even if you are having difficulty. Many beginners lack strength or flexibility. So, here, the following rule is in order: "form before ego".

Don't jump into any maneuvering or compromise just to make the situation look nicer. Give your body the time it needs to get used to its new shape in this position. It may take a few months but it's worth it!

As always when exercising, it's important to drink enough - this is no different than yoga. Did you know that hot drinks are especially pleasant for your digestive system? A good hot tea motivates you before a yoga session and rejuvenates you afterwards.

Downward facing dog: how to do it right?

The most important thing to do in this position is to keep your back straight. In the best case, you should get to the position of Jenny, our yoga teacher which you can see in the photo below.

13 criteria for successful downward facing dog posture

Fingers wide apart, middle finger pointing forward.

The wrists are straight.

Hands are pressed into the ground.

The shoulder blades meet at the back so that the shoulders point away from the ears.

The arms are close to the ears and pointing outward. To help you, in the back, push your shoulder blades down.

The forearms are turned slightly inward.

The arms are almost straight, and the elbows are only slightly bent.

The head is in line with the spine, the neck is relaxed.

The back is completely straight.

The buttocks are pushed up and the hips are as far away from the shoulders as possible.

The legs should be straight. Exception: If you have to rotate your back to straighten your legs, it is best to bend your legs slightly and keep your back straight. Perhaps with each breath you can stretch your legs a little more. The heels should not be placed on the floor.

The feet are parallel and the distance between them is equivalent to the width of the hips. Your toes are pointing forward, and you can't see your heels.

Your weight is evenly distributed over the hands and feet.

Downward facing dog: the right way

Practicing a downward-facing dog seems more difficult than it actually is. The condition to be fulfilled is to integrate the posture correctly: if you place the arms and legs well, and you position your

 hands and feet in the optimal way, you have the base of the downward-facing dog. There are two ways to do dog landings. Try both types and see which one works best for you.

From the position on all fours to the plank position

Get on all fours, hands are located under the shoulders, knees under the hips. Make sure you put your hands now. Now straighten your legs and do the plank. Leave your hands under your shoulders. If you feel like you have to step back a bit to get the plank done right, do it.

Point your upper arms out slightly and let your shoulder blades meet at your back. Push yourself off the ground with your hands. Here, keep this position exactly, there is only your buttocks that you have to lift. As an option, you also have the possibility to bend the knees. If you can, extend your legs more and place your heels on the floor.

Do the downward dog pose from the child pose

Get on all fours, hands are located under the shoulders, knees under the hips. Make sure you put your hands now. Raise your toes, push your butt toward your heels, and your shoulder blades meet at your back, then tighten your legs and push your butt up. Make sure to keep your upper body straight.

Downhill Dog: Mistakes to Avoid

Although the Adho Mukha Svanasana pose is among the basic asanas and an integral part of functional training as well as other fitness classes, it is often performed incorrectly. The image below shows you what a downward facing dog might look like if it included errors.

The error not only occurs in one place, but affects the entire situation in a negative way. For example, twisted wrists create a different angle in the elbows. Next, pull your shoulders toward the ears, and your back is rounded. And so on.

We have summarized the most common mistakes and told you how to avoid them so that your situation does not look like the photo:

False: The wrists are twisted.

Here's how to avoid it: Extend your hands to the full length evenly, to the right and left. The middle finger points forward. Turn your forearms inward slightly, keeping your elbows slightly bent, and rotate your upper arms outward.

Trick: Steer yourself toward the edges of your rug if you're not sure whether your wrists are straight.


Mistake: Move your feet forward to stretch your back.

Here's how to avoid it: keep your back long, extend your legs as much as possible, and if you can't touch the ground with your heels, don't force yourself. With each exhale, try to relax the back of your legs and always lengthen your legs a little more.

Trick: Get into the plank position first. From there, push yourself back into the downward-facing dog pose, and raise your pelvis to the sky as high as you can. First bring your thighs close to your stomach by bending your legs, then stretch as much as possible.


False: the shoulders are close to the ears.

Here's how to avoid it: Rotate the upper arms outward, bring the shoulder blades down and pull them toward the hips.

Trick: Try it once while standing: Stand naturally with your arms relaxed. While inhaling, raise your shoulders toward your ears. Then push them back. As you exhale, let them fall back down. This is how your shoulders should be in a downward-facing dog position.


False: The back is round and the legs are not stretched.

Here's how to avoid it: Leave your hands and feet where they are. Instead of changing the length of the pose, bend the legs instead and push your pelvis skyward. When your back is long, try to straighten your legs a little more with each exhale. Keep the front of the thighs active.

Trick: patience. Especially if your hamstrings or your shoulder and back muscles are very strong but not flexible, it can take several weeks or even months before you can truly relax into a doggie position with a straight back and straight legs. At the beginning of the exercise, you can alternately bend one leg and straighten the other to gently relax your legs.


False: The thoracic spine is pushed down and the joints are stretched too much.

Here's how to avoid it: Make sure to keep your elbows slightly bent. It activates the muscles of the shoulders and arms and keeps the head in harmony with the spine. The head is between the arms.

Trick: This error usually occurs in yogis who are very flexible or have hypermobility in the shoulder area. In the long run, this damages the joints. So never try to stretch it 100%.

form before ego

When it comes to a downward-facing dog, the most important thing is to feel comfortable and breathe deeply and evenly. Even if your legs aren't straight yet, your heels are off the ground, and you feel

 like you're stretching your back for the first time, know that proper limb alignment and smooth breathing are more important than a downward-facing dog. .

Give your body time to slowly grow into this new position. Don't feel good about it? Ask for advice from a yoga teacher who can tell you where the problem is coming from and point out any contraindications.

Downward facing dog: relaxation, strength and flexibility in one posture

A downward facing dog has many positive effects on the body and mind, which not only benefit you in yoga classes but also in everyday life. This is the perfect posture for relaxation. In this pose, you can reset your body and mind, deepen your breath again, align your limbs correctly, and go into the next pose with a clear mind.

Downward facing dog yoga posture: Our conclusion

Downward facing dog or Adho Mukha Svanasana...

Strengthens arms, wrists, shoulders and lower back.

Activates the muscles of the trunk and legs.

Tightens the hamstring muscles as a whole.

Stretches the shoulder blades and tightens the spine.

It works against tension and headaches by tightening the thoracic spine and relaxing the neck.

Stimulates the nervous system.

Improves blood circulation.

It activates the whole body. Zn:Mg* capsules can also help you with this.

Calms the flow of thoughts.



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