adho = down; mukha = face; svana = dog; asana = posture
About the Pose
What’s not to love about a well-aligned Downward Facing Dog pose? It can build strength in the shoulder flexors and the muscles that stabilize the scapulae in their end range of upward rotation.
It can also increase range of motion in shoulder flexion by opening the extensors and adductors of the shoulder.
Range of motion in hip flexion can also be increased somewhat here, although the hips should already be able to be able to move into about 90 degrees of flexion before the full version of this pose is held, as limited hip flexion will cause excessive lumbar flexion.
Skilled placement of the bones of the shoulder girdle in Downward Facing Dog is an essential prerequisite to crowd pleasers like Upward Bow and bigger backbends with shoulder flexion; and Handstand and other inversions with shoulder flexion.
Asana Tech Specs
Overall Tapas Ratings
Sthira / Strength: 3 of 5
unyielding, firm, hard, solid, compact, strong, fixed, immovable, motionless, still, calm, not wavering or tottering, steady, durable, constant, steadfast, resolute, persevering
Sukha / Range of Motion: 3 of 5
yielding, ease, good space, a perfectly round axle hole
Svadhyaya / Knowledge: 3 of 5
study of the self