Pose Of The Month: Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward Facing Dog)

Author: Jackieb / Date: 09-07-2014 / Tag: Full Circle Yoga, Downward Facing Dog, DFD, Longmont Colorado, Longmont, Jackie Boeheim, Yoga Studio /
Downward Facing Dog, DFD, Downward Dog, Mastering Downward Facing Dog

Welcome, exquisite yogis, to the Full Circle Yoga blog. Here you will find instructionals and demonstrations, exclusive interviews with students and teachers as well as guest blog posts from industry experts. We hope you find joy and comfort in these articles as we embark on this journey together.

Now, let’s dive into our very first blog post! We’ll be conducting monthly pose series where we dissect beloved asanas and guide you through the appropriate executions. Safety is far more valuable than appearance and your personal sanctuary is one to treasure.

The most common yoga pose is perhaps the Downward Facing Dog, a beautiful position that relaxes the mind and invigorates the arms and legs. It also provides a deep stretch within a wide range of muscle groups including the shoulders, calves, hamstrings and hands. This is a rejuvenating and satisfying posture, and one you can comfortably return to throughout your practice.

Let’s get to the nitty-gritty of this asana and break it down to its very core. I encourage you to arrive at your mat and frolic about with your version of Downward Facing Dog. We shall begin in tabletop position; stack your wrists under your shoulders, your knees under your hips and your feet directly behind your knees. With your back flat, engage your core and bring your gaze to the floor.

Let’s step this up a notch; tuck your toes and send your hips high for Downward Facing Dog, Adho Mukha Savanasana.

Alignment Cues

  • Bring your hands at a shoulder width distance, spread your fingers wide and ground down through the four corners of your palms. Doing this will take the pesky pain out of your wrist.
  • Direct the eyes of the elbows to face inward, protecting your elbows.
  • Take the shrug out of your shoulders and allow them to melt down your spine, eliminating any tension that may build with this pose.
  • Release your head and press your heart towards your thighs, keeping your neck inline with your spine.
  • With your spine elongated and straight, track your hips towards the sky, pulling the weight out of your hands.
  • Spiral your thighs inward, to protect the knees, and shoot your heels to the back wall.

Congratulations! You’re in a healthy and safe Downward Facing Dog. However, if you’re feeling some discomfort, read below.


  • Bend the knees to take pressure out of your spine. This is a beautiful version that will offer the same benefits.
  • To take the burden out of your wrists, rest your hands on foam blocks. Thank goodness for those blocks, so squishy.

Even if you’re a master yogi, we invite you to practice these modifications to allow yourself to find top comfort.

That’s a wrap for July’s pose of the month! We’d love to hear your thoughts, post below and add to this list.  Our fantastic teachers are always willing to play, stop by Full Circle Yoga for one of our classes where we’ll practice this very pose. Stay tuned for August; we’ll channel our inner bravery through Warrior Two.



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