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adho mukha svanasana

[AH-doh MOO-kah shvah-NAHS-anna] 

downward facing dog pose

BENEFITS:
  • fosters introspection & calm
  • strengthens the upper body
  • releases stiffness in the shoulders
  • strengthens legs
  • lengthens  hamstring & calf muscles
  • strengthens ankles 
PREP POSES: 
COUNTER POSES:
  • apanasana
  • balasana
  • savasana
  • supta parivartanasana
  • viparita karani
VARIATIONS: 

box on the wall or dolphin

PROCEED WITH CAUTION

Shoulder/rotator cuff injuries have been associated with this pose.

ALIGNMENT
  • Keep equal weight in your hands and extend through your arms without locking the elbow joint.
  • Stiff hamstrings? Can’t get your heels to reach the floor? Your heels do not need to touch the ground to have proper alignment. If you set up the pose to with heels on the ground, you may have too little distance between your hands and feet which can cause the back to round and put pressure on your lower back.
  • Neck or shoulder tension? Broaden your shoulders to create space and place your hands no wider than shoulder-width apart.

PRACTICE CHILLASANA VIDEO 

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