Adho mukha Svanasana or the downward dog pose is a very easy and simple yoga asana or pose, but also quite potent. If you are familiar with Surya Namaskar or Sun Salutation practice, then you know how the downward dog pose feels like. When pose is properly done, it stretches calf muscles, back of thighs, spine, shoulder and arms. It is also a good test of the strength and agility of the body. One can get maximum benefit from this pose by holding it for 1 – 2 minutes and inhaling and exhaling deeply while in the pose.
One does not need prior knowledge of yoga to practice this pose. With proper guidelines and instruction one can practice this pose easily. Anyone whose legs and arms can bear the weight of their own body can learn how to get into this pose. A lot of the weight is born by the wrists and the elbows. Therefore anyone suffering from wrist and elbow injury should consult the doctor before doing it.
Now on to some of the benefits of practicing this pose regularly
1) Most of the our day is spent standing, sitting or sleeping. So it takes a lot more energy for the blood to travel to the brain. However in a down dog pose, because of the inversion, the blood flows easily to the brain, which helps improve memory, focus, concentration and can relieve stress
2) Getting more blood into the brain can help relieve headaches, insomnia, fatigue, and mild depression.
3) It stretches the ligaments and tendons improving their strength, agility and resilience.
4) Strengthens the muscles and bring a sturdiness to the entire system reducing the risk of injury especially the ones brought on by age related factors.
5) Breathing deeply while holding the pose sends more oxygen to the lungs improving lung capacity.
6) It builds tensile strength in the wrist and can prevent carpel tunnel syndrome.
Downward dog a day can keep illnesses away. Another example that goes to show how a simple pose can bring so many benefits. Now that you know the potency of this pose, isn’t that motivation enough to learn and practice it on a regular basis? Learn the downward dog pose by clicking on this link.
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