Downward-Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana)

When thinking about yoga many of us probably get a visual of this common pose, Downward-Facing Dog. 

At Holy Yoga we believe in being life-long learners! So wether you have never tried it before, or you have been pracicing for 20 years, let’s take a moment to break this pose down together!


Come to all fours, placing your hands directly under your shoulders. Spread your fingers evenly and root down to the floor through all four corners of your hands. (Rooting down means to extend downward energetically like a tree sending down roots into the earth). Inhale and draw muscularly from your hands up into your shoulders. Keeping your arms steadfast and straight, exhale and draw your shoulder blades onto your back. Inhale, pressing your hands into the mat and engage your deep belly.



As you exhale, tuck your toes, and lift your hips up and back. Lengthen back through your spine and hips. You’ll now resemble an upside-down V.



When first coming into this pose, peddling out the feet from left to right can help loosen up the calves. You may also bend your knees here until you are ready to straighten and extend your legs to come into the full pose. Continue breathing, root through your hands, gently lengthen your heels toward the mat.



Hold the pose for a few breaths. Gaze should be in between the legs. When you’re ready, exhale and lower your knees to the mat, returning to tabletop or child’s pose.



Now that you have your ques down, we also wanted to point out some of the amazing physical and mental benefits of the Downward-Facing Dog pose:


Downward-Facing Dog improves digestion, relieves insomnia, menstrual/menopausal discomfort and lower back pain, and strengthens the palms, chest, back, hamstrings, calves and feet. Overall, Downward-Facing Dog energizes the entire body and makes you feel like a superhero! 



This pose also improves focus, develops willpower, simulates the mind, relieves stress and mild anxiety. Who doesn’t need more of that in their life?!


Need to see it in motion? Check out this Downward Facing Dog pose breakdown by Holy Yoga Founder, Brooke Boon streaming now on Holy Yoga TV.


For more insight on pose breakdowns, check out Holy Yoga® TV free for 30 days! 


  1. Kratika

    I tend to miss out on the breathing aspect in this pose. Generally I am not very focussed on breathing. I will try to incorporate it.

  2. Jennifer Moye

    Yes! It is easy to miss that part! 🙂

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