Adho Mukha Svanasana (downward-Facing Dog)
In yoga or Huth yoga asanas are the first to be spoken off, as they are the first stage of yoga. So one must practice asanas that provide in gaining strength, keep organs in good health and limbs supple. The individual gains mastery over their body through practicing postures or asanas and through pranayam. Once the body is under control now one can look forward to gain control over his mind by meditation. When this has been achieved, they are ready to proceed along the eightfold path and join the path of Raj yoga.
Adho Mukha Svanasana (downward facing Dog):
- From the position of kneeling come up onto hands and knees.
- Placing hands, palms down, directly below shoulders, at shoulder width apart with fingers pointing downwards. Place your knees directly below your hips at hips width apart. Tuck the toes under and heels pointing towards the ceiling.
- Keeping palms and toes on the floor breathe out push your hips and tailbone up towards the ceiling. Push the heels downwards into the floor (feel the legs stretch out and strengthen).
- Stretch the arms out fully in front of the body, shoulder width apart. Press heels and hands into the floor, squeeze shoulder blades together and push shoulders down towards the waist.
- Drop your head and body down through the arms, top of the head faces the floor. Relax your head and neck.
- Pushing hands and heels down into the floor push tailbone towards the ceiling and spread buttocks wide (so that the body weight is evenly distributed between hands and feet). Hold the posture and breathe normally.
- To come out of this; walk hands in towards the feet. Bend knees and place them on the floor; shins and tops of the feet rest on the floor, toes point backwards. Place the buttocks onto the heels; straighten the body up, facing forwards. Now relax your arms by sides.
Benefits of this asana are:
- Loosens the muscles of hips, and shoulders relaxing them out of tension.
- Increases circulation of blood in body, towards the brain, lungs and various vital organs.
- Stimulate the body.
- Relieves tiredness in body.
- Strengthens legs, arms joints and even stretches the spine.
But yet cautions must be taken while performing this asana as; if you are suffering from eye problems, care must be taken if you are suffering from arthritic wrist. Approach with care if suffering with high or low blood pressure. Discretion is also must for individual with spinal problems and, must be practiced under the guidance of yoga teacher.