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‘ve been practicing yoga since the mid-80s, and the discovery of Downward Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana) was both a gift and a revelation to me. Through many years of experience and training I’ve learned there are many benefits to this simple, well-known asana.

Here are five great reasons to get your Down Dog on every single day:

  1. To get upside down.

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Not everyone is comfortable with handstands, headstand and arm balances, but Downward Dog is the safest and most accessible way to get your upside down on. This basic inversion not only improves blood flow to your brain, it also changes your perspective of the world.That’s an added benefit whenever you feel stuck or stressed .

The best way to get into Downward Dog is to start on your hands and knees in Table Pose (Bharmanasana).Be sure your hands are directly beneath your shoulders and your knees are underneath your hips.Keep your hands planted, tuck your toes under, then press your tailbone up in the air as you shift your weight back into your heels.

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Your body will form an upside down V-shape. Many people tend to adjust here by moving their feet closer to their hands, but try to keep your hands and feet where they were in Table Pose, since this is the correct measurement for your own body.

  1. To give your body a gentle back bend.

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To do Downward Dog correctly, press through all your fingers and move your chest toward your thighs. This action will open your chest. Believe it or not, you’re in a baby back bend. Let your head hang at first. Feel that your weight is evenly distributed between your hands and feet.

To increase the backbend, tuck your chin and look up at your thighs. Bend your knees and shift your weight slightly to your feet to stretch your arms out in front. This action will further open your shoulders and chest. What a fantastic antidote to sitting in a chair or standing on your feet all day!

Click here for the other great benefits of this yoga pose. 

This article was republished with permission from Mind Body Green you can find the original article here.

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