It’s no secret that with each yoga asana including https://www.julianalucky.com/post/10-top-yoga-books-for-kids, we initially build a certain relationship. And often they do not fold very smoothly with Downward Dog Pose (Adho Mukha Svanasana). But, as soon as you manage to find an approach to her, be sure: she will become your faithful companion for many years.
To understand what kind of relationship you have with Adho Mukha Svanasana at the moment, pay attention to the following 5 nuances when adjusting the asana:
1. Do my palms fit snugly against the mat?
Start at the bottom. In life, we often need a strong “foundation” from which we can push off and move towards our goals. This also applies to yoga asanas. Make sure that in Down Dog Pose, half of your weight is in your arms and you are fully supported.
Spread your fingers wide, pressing your indexes into the mat. And here we are talking not only about the anatomical features of our body, but also about the movement of energy. Imagine how small shoots begin to sprout from your palms, connecting into a single whole with the Earth’s root system entangling all living things.
2. Are my shoulders stable?
Each teacher sees in his own way what position the shoulders should be in when performing this asana. In view of all this variety of options, there is nothing left to do but try different ways, listening to your body, until you find a variation that suits you.
One option: After making sure your palms are firmly attached to the mat, begin to gently release your shoulders in circular motions. At the beginning, you will experience a rather strange sensation – as if someone has placed their palms on either side of your spine and is trying to spread them to the side. But this position of the shoulders gives the posture stability and the necessary tension.
3. Are my hips pushing in the opposite direction from my shoulders?
When starting this pose, many beginners think that the main task is to lower the heels to the floor. And although such a performance does give a good traction in the calf muscles, it often deprives us of the most important thing in this asana – an even, beautiful back.
A downward-facing dog is, first of all, a posture of stretching the spine. If we stretch our hips from the shoulders, this will create the necessary lengthening of our spine, and, consequently, the space where prana, our vital energy, can calmly move. So concentrate on your hips position.
4. Are my knees bent?
This is one of the tips that many people find resistance until they try this method on their own. The reason is that the practitioners often already have an idea of what the “ideal” Adho Mukha Svanasana should look like, so they are trying to recreate it on the rug.
However, it is not uncommon for beginners to become familiar with Downward Dog Pose and try very hard to lower their heels to the floor and end up with a stretched back or a stretched hamstring. Not at all the effect that I would like to get by practicing this asana! By bending the knees, we can focus on stretching the spine and pushing the hips away from the shoulders. Try this option and you may never want to go back to your previous one.
5. Are my feet moving?
And again it is necessary to throw out of the head the image of the Dog face down with the feet pressed to the floor, because often the efforts of beginners to lower their heels to the mat are rewarded with pain in the lower back and hips.
Instead, try to relax your feet and play with them, for example, alternately bending your knees, touching the mat with one heel or the other. Don’t try to match the perfect picture in your head, but let your feet flow for a while.
And the most important thing when performing Adho Mukha Svanasana, and any other posture, do not forget about ahimsa, or the principle of harmlessness. Deliberate practice of this asana effectively stretches the spine and helps to cope with lower back pain. You can combine it with the Pose of the Child and the Plank, smoothly moving from one position to another.
We hope this short list will help you to become friends with Adho Mukha Svanasana, and then fall in love with her as much as we do.