Adho Mukha Svānāsana
Adho Mukha Svānāsana, also known as the infamous “Downward-Facing Dog”, is an inversion pose (where the head is below the heart) that strengthens the whole body and stimulates the nervous system. Anytime you are feeling blue or just a little out of sorts, this pose will alter your mood and re-inspire.
1. Begin in a table top position with hands under shoulders and knees under hips. Spread your fingers as you firmly press the knuckles of the index and thumb down into the earth.
2. Engage your arms, by pressing the forearms towards each other and wrapping the outer arm muscles in towards your face.
3. From this table top position tuck your toes and lift the knees to reach the hips up and back, elongating the whole back body.
4. Let your head hang heavy between the shoulders. Broaden the collarbones as you press the shoulder-blades down the back. Keep lengthening the spine as you bring a slight arch to your low back, reaching the sit bones to the sky.
4. Engage your low-belly and quadriceps. You should begin feeling the hamstrings and calves lengthen as you straighten the legs and press the heels down. If bringing the heels down strains the back of your legs, keep the knees bent but work towards lengthening.
5. Your weight should feel like its lifting away from your hands and rising out through your tailbone.
Stay here for 5-10 breaths. Be intuitive. Feel what you feel. Explore by bending the knees and reaching the heels down one at a time. Maybe even sway your hips from side to side.
If you have a dog at home, let this be a time to connect. You will be surprised at how playful your animal companion will be when you're in this pose!
May you feel steadiness and ease~