Downward Facing Dog: The Yoga Move Even Non-Yogis Love

Article posted in: Fitness

Downward Facing Dog, or Adho Mukha Svanasana, is a classic in the yoga world.

This means you have probably heard of it before and maybe you’ve even seen your canine best friend model it for you! Very easy to perform and amazing for the whole body, Downward-Facing Dog has a place in your life, even if you’re not a die-hard yogi.

This move makes a great post-workout stretch or end of day stress reliever. Downward Facing Dog can help work out kinks in your body from your hands to your back, down to your feet. It also can help calm anxiety, get your digestive system moving, boost your disposition and can even make those horrible effects of menopause shrink away. Well, doggone!


  • Back
  • Shoulders
  • Arms
  • Hands
  • Legs: Hamstrings and calves

Benefits of Downward-Facing Dog:

  • Stress relief
  • Can help boost mood
  • Helps stretch body from fingers to toes
  • Can support muscle building in arms and legs
  • May bolsters energy
  • Can aid the digestive system
  • May ease tightness around spinal cord
  • Can alleviate menopausal symptoms


  • Ensure that your head is in line with your arms, facing down, to avoid potential injuries.
  • To raise the intensity of the stretch: Try bringing heels up off of the ground and rooting them back down slowly, or switching off rising one full leg up in the air.


  • Talk to your doctor first, if you are pregnant or have high blood pressure, an ear infection, carpal tunnel or arthritis.
  • Raise your head with a block, if you experience a headache or have high blood pressure.
  • Do not attempt to overextend body. This may cause injury to back or neck.
  • Perform pose on a soft surface and stop at any point, if you experience neck or wrist pain.

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*Pose information and benefits derived from the Yoga Journal and Gaia.