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Down dog | Downward Facing Dog | Dog

Adho Mukha Svanasana

Could the yoga pose Downward Facing Dog teach us unconditional love? What are the characteristics of your dog that you can’t teach yourself? Is it that we can’t look within? Is it that we feel honoured by a pet that doesn’t expect anything in return? What do we expect in return from ourselves let alone anyone else? What in life have we carried or do we still carry that won’t/can’t let us teach ourselves unconditional love? Well on the energy side of dog pose we can come into the moment and totally be unconditional of what we feel and honour ourselves in all that we are in this moment – in tightness, in restraint, in strength and openness.

“A Golden Retriever with Hair Blowing in the Wind
Dogs have excellent devotion and patience as well as genuine joie de vivre. Think of a golden retriever in the back of a jeep with its hair blowing in the wind. See if you can bring that kind of receiving quality to Down Dog in the midst of its challenges. Most of all, enjoy the ride.” – Shiva Rea, Yoga Journal, For Beginners: Adho Mukha Svanasana

Energy, Mood, Emotions
Effects to energy, mood or emotion may include the following.

  • Removes fatigue.
  • Rejuvenating.
  • Quiets mind.
  • As a mild inversion, is calming to nervous system.
  • Considered to have both a “dynamic and restful” effect.
  • Can develop confidence.



Musculoskeletal effects may include the following.

  • Stretches entire back side of body.
  • Develops whole body strength & flexibility.
  • Strengthens & tones upper body & arms.
  • Improves upper back posture.
  • Opens chest and shoulders.


Inner Body

Inner body effects may include the following.

  • Inverts organs, said to result in stimulation of all systems of body.
  • Increases circulation to brain.


  • Stretches achilles tendon, calves, hamstrings, hips, shoulders, arms.
  • Opens arches of feet.
  • Strengthens hands, arms, upper body.
  • Lengthens spine; can help to reduce excessive spinal curvatures.

Therapeutic Use

  • Asthma
  • Back Pain
  • Digestive issues
  • Fatigue
  • Flat feet
  • Headache
  • Insomnia
  • Menopausal symptoms
  • Sciatica


Never a bad time

“There is almost never a bad time to do Adho Mukha Svanasana. If you are doing Adho Mukha Svanasana near the beginning of a session, it is an active time, a time when you are moving into a working mode, so don’t lower yourself into Child’s Pose; rather step up into Uttanasana to maintain the energy of the session. Conversely, if you are doing the pose as a warm down, it can be relaxing to rest in Child’s Pose afterward.”– Brad Pridd

For those who practice a style where Down Dog is prolific, it is often considered beneficial to remind oneself and students that while the pose is basic and fundamental, we can continue to awaken ourselves to giving it continued attention. As with all practices, we can continue to refine and deepen our experience.

Source:YOGA TEACHER Central 


Consider the alignment of the pose and what you feel and achieve in the posture.  Why are you doing it, what are you receiving from the pose? As in all yoga, place your awareness in the moment and notice the feelings that arise for you? Be in the moment and breathe into the feelings that are here for you in the present moment – it’s truly the only moment that there is.

Thanks to all of you for our lovely community.

Blessings and Namaste Lou xo

A dog will teach you unconditional love. If you can have that in your life, things won’t be too bad.

Robert Wagner 

Hi Lou, I’m away this weekend so won’t be doing the class live this morning.  I’m saving it to do this arvo when I have some alone time.

Mel – March 2022

Louise Eddy

Louise Eddy

Yoga Teacher & Owner

Louise is passionate about her practice and her understanding of yoga. Her journey in life has led her to study and practice yoga for the past 20+yrs. In the past 5+ years she has also focussed on Mental health and well-being and has actively been involved teaching classes in community and special needs areas with this focus.

She gives thanks for the knowledge that has been passed along from the teachers and students before that have paved the way for the journey of yoga as it is in the west. She teaches from her heart with gratitude and love. ​Om Shanti.

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