7 benefits of downward facing dog yoga pose

Your skin is a reflection of your internal health and who doesn’t want glowing skin? One of the simplest techniques to get glowing skin and also achieve weight loss is to practice the downward facing dog, also known as Adho Mukha Svanasana. This yoga pose is a basic level pose and can be done by practitioners of all ages no matter what their level of physical fitness is. Doing this pose has several health benefits, but first let’s know the correct way of doing it from an expert.

Health Shots got in touch with Himalayan Siddha, Akshar, a yogi and founder, Akshar Yoga Research and Development Centre, who shared a step-by-step guide to perform the Adho Mukha Svanasana pose.

How to do the downward facing dog pose

  1. To get into a downward facing dog you can start on your palms and knees in a table top position.
  2. From here simply press your toes into the floor lifting up the pelvis and straightening the knees.
  3. Straighten your arms and gently look at your navel keeping the head in between your arms.

    Akshar shares these 7 awesome benefits of downward facing dog pose:

1. Strong core

Downward dog pose is also done when doing Surya Namaskar. It is part of the entire Surya Namaskar flow, and a great way to build your core strength. As a beginner, you can practice five to seven cycles initially and then gradually increase the number of rounds. Apart from giving you a very toned body and making you look younger, a strong core is also helpful to support your back.

2. Alignment and spinal strength

“Adho Mukha Svanasana is an effective pose to build the strength of your back and relieve back pain. It helps strengthen the shoulders and tone your lower body. It can effectively improve the alignment of your body and improve posture,” says Akshar.

back pain
If your back is giving you a hard time, try the downward facing dog pose! Image courtesy: Shutterstock

3. Regulates blood flow

Hold this pose for 1 minute or longer if you are comfortable to improve the blood circulation towards your head and legs. In order to lose weight, and to improve the complexion and radiance of your skin, the best way is to accelerate your blood circulation. Additionally, in the downward dog position your head is below your pelvis and the blood rushes to your face when you practice it. This increases the blood flow to your facial region that helps in flushing out toxins and treating acne.

yoga poses for flexibility
The downward acing dog sequence is a quick-fix for weight loss and flexibility. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

4. Increased flexibility

According to Akshar, “Along with building strength for your body, Adho Mukha Svanasana also helps to improve your flexibility. It gives a good stretch to your calves, ankles, hamstrings, shoulders, back and even your chest. You can gain the benefits of this pose by practicing with the correct alignment and holding the asana for longer duration.”

5. Improved immunity

If your internal organs are not healthy, this will immediately reflect on your external body such as your skin and hair. The health of your skin and hair is largely dependent on the functioning of your organs. Downward dog is a powerful yoga pose that will improve your immunity and keep you healthy from the inside out.

6. Great stress buster

Stress is one of the fastest ways to erode the health of your skin, hair and cause obesity. When you remain stressed for long periods of time, the adverse effects such as weight gain, dark circles, pimples, pigmentation, and patchy complexion may come forth. Practice downward facing dog pose for instant stress busting effects.

“When you hold this pose, ensure that you are breathing freely and naturally. Do not hold your breath and allow the pose to work its wonders on you,” suggests Akshar.

7. Stimulates entire body

Downward facing dog pose is a total body workout as it involves your upper body as well as your lower body. Pressing against the floor to hold this pose will build strength and flexibility of many muscle groups such as your feet, ankles, hamstrings, and calf muscles. It also strengthens your shoulders, your arms, wrists, and allows for enhanced blood circulation within your internal organs.

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