Revolved Downward Dog Pose

Yoga Poses

Revolved Downward Facing Dog /Parivrtta Adho Mukha Svanasana

Steps

Begin in downward facing dog. Reach the right hand under and across the body to hold left ankle. Turn the chest and eye gaze upwards. Hold five breathes. To exit the pose, return to downward facing dog. Repeat the other side.

Teacher Queues

Visualization Comments

This is an energising pose, opening up the side core and lungs, rotating heart upwards. Focus on bringing lightness to the legs with the breath. Inhale through the nose, exhale all the air out.  Breathe in and picture the breath flowing from the left side lung, along the side waist and down the leg. Relax the heel towards the ground. Return to downward facing dog and repeat other side.

Technical Comments

When in downward facing dog, chest towards ground and lift sit bones upwards. Now press thighs back and let the heels descend towards the ground. Bring the weight into the left hand.  Reach the right hand under and across the body towards the left thigh. Slide the hand along the leg to hold the ankle. Rotate the chest and gaze upwards, twisting at the navel, not back of shoulders.

Benefit Comments

  • Energises and relieves fatigue in the legs
  • Strengthens and improves flexibility of ankles
  • Stretches Achilles tendon, calves and leg muscles
  • Stimulates circulation and strengthens back, arms and shoulders
  • Improves respiratory ailments such as asthma
  • Massages internal organs and improves digestion

Watch Out For:

  • Tight shoulders (loop strap around ankles or thigh)
  • Weak arms/shoulders (practice on knees –thread-the-needle or forearms -dolphin )

Contraindications

  • Back injury
  • Shoulder injury
  • High blood pressure

Modifications

  • Use straps to hold thigh or ankle
  • Practice on knees and or forearms

Variations

  • From three legged dog, bend knee, reach back with opposite hand to hold ankle

Yoga Counter Poses

  • Downward facing dog (Adho mukha svanasana)
  • Child pose (Balasana)
  • Cobra (Bhujangasana

Written By: Brenda Hamlet

Brenda Hamlet, is teacher and journalist in Oxford, England. More information about Brenda can be found at www.pret-a-yoga.com

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