Downward facing dog: 5 reasons to try the asana
“Downward facing dog, or Adho Mukha Shwanasana, is one of the most common and useful yoga postures. Here are five reasons why you should try this asana:
- Stretching and strengthening: Downward facing dog stretches and strengthens many muscle groups including arms, shoulders, back, shins and feet. This pose helps improve flexibility and strength throughout the body.
- Core Strengthening: While performing Downward Facing Dog asana, the focus is on the core of the body, including the abdominal and lower back muscles. This helps to develop strength and stability in the central part of the body.
- Back Stretch: This pose stretches and strengthens the back, which can help release tension and stiffness in the spinal column. It also helps to improve posture and stretch the spine.
- Improving circulation: During the Downward Facing Dog asana, the head is below the heart, which helps to improve blood circulation and circulation throughout the body. This can be particularly helpful in lowering blood pressure and improving overall well-being.
- Relaxation and Stress Relief: This pose helps relieve tension and stress, as it promotes relaxation and calming of the mind and body. It can be used as a resting pose or as part of a meditation practice.
It is important to remember that it is always advisable to consult a yoga instructor or professional yogi before starting a yoga practice, especially if you have any health problems or limitations.
Contraindications to the exercise
Although the Downward Facing Dog asana has many benefits, there are some contraindications in which it is advisable to be cautious or avoid performing this exercise:
- Shoulder injuries or diseases: If you have a shoulder injury, arthritis or other problems with your shoulder joints, performing the asana can be uncomfortable or aggravate existing problems. In such a case, it is advisable to consult a yoga instructor to find modifications or replacements for the asana.
- spinal injuries or diseases: People with spinal injuries or problems such as herniated discs or osteochondrosis may find it difficult to perform the Downward Facing Dog asana. It is better to consult a medical specialist or yoga instructor for recommendations and modifications specifically tailored to your needs.
- Pregnancy: During pregnancy, you should be careful with the practice of yoga and especially with poses that require inversions or a lot of pressure on the abdomen. In the case of pregnancy, it is advisable to consult a doctor or yoga specialist for guidance on a safe practice.
- Hypertension or pressure problems: Downward-facing dog pose can temporarily increase pressure in the head. Therefore, people with hypertension or blood pressure problems are advised to avoid holding this pose for long periods of time or performing it for long periods of time.
In any case, if you have any health conditions or problems, it is always advisable to consult a medical specialist or qualified yoga instructor before starting a yoga practice. They can offer personalised recommendations and modifications of the asanas, taking into account your needs and limitations.