Remember that with all yoga poses you should listen to your own body and if you feel any discomfort or unease stop practising and seek assistance from a yoga and/or medical practioner.
Ardo Mukha Svanasana (Downward Facing Dog)
This pose is used in most yoga classes due to its many variations and preparation poses and its familiarity to beginners. It is also common in most Surya Namaskar (Sun Salution) sequences and also as a counter pose or transition between poses to bring alignment back to the spine.
This pose stretches through the back of the body such as the calves, hamstrings and shoulders. It energises and calms the body, and can be used to relieve headaches and insomina. It also stimulates the respiratory, digestive and endocrine systems.
General caution for this pose should be taken in later stages of pregnancy, eye problems, high blood presure or wrist/shoulder injuries.
Ardo means down. Mukha means face. Svana means dog. Asana literally means ‘seat’ but is generally understood to mean ‘pose/posture’.