Downward Dog Benefits

The yoga dog pose is also known as downward facing dog, mountain pose or parvatasana.

It is a major component of the yoga sun salutation series (Surya Namaskara).

The dog asana is good for strengthening the arms and legs and it also improves circulation in the upper body.

It is important to listen to your body when you practice this pose. Do not push yourself too hard or your back may suffer. Progress gradually and safely with your yoga practice.

Downward Facing Dog Pose

You get in the yoga dog pose during sun salutation. You’ll find the step-by-step instructions for getting in this asana below or you have a look at your dog while he’s stretching… Amazing how similar the positions are!

  1. Stand at the top of your mat, feet together.
  2. Let your upper body cascade down in front of you.
  3. Place your fingers on the ground in line with your toes. Ensure that your weight is equally divided between you palms and fingers, with your middle finger pointing straight ahead.
  4. Bring your legs back, one at a time, and place them shoulder width apart.
  5. Bring your bum as high as possible while keeping your back straight and legs straight.

The goal is to have your legs and upper body form 2 sides of a triangle. Here are some tips to help you:

  • Your legs and arms must be straight.
  • You should aim at keeping the heels on the mat.Note: you may not be flexible enough to do it at first. That’s all right, you still get benefits from this variation of the downward dog pose. Keep practicing and your flexibility will improve and so will the benefits that you will reap.
  • Make sure to keep the hips and neck relaxed.

Your body should look like this: