Some of the feedback I received to saying what the pose is as opposed to just describing it to students. Saying the asana will give them a better idea of where to go if they are not watching me or cannot see me. Because of this feedback, I have chosen to write about a different pose every Sunday in order to better learn the names of the asanas - I would like to ingrain them into my brain!
My husband gave me this idea, but I will also be speaking to a single pose and also describing the background or story behind the pose - why the pose is called what it is called.
Hopefully this weekly post will aid in enriching my teaching as well as my students' understanding of the postures.
The first pose I have chosen to speak about is in my mind the most widely known, the most fundamental yoga asana.
English: Downward-Facing Dog
Sanskrit: Adho Mukha Svanasana
Adho = Downward
Mukha = Face
Svana = Dog
Primary Muscles used: Trapezius, Latissimus Dorsi, Triceps, Gluts, Hamstrings
Secondary Muscles used: Rhomboids, Rotator Cuff, Anterior and Medial Deltoids, Posterior Deltoids, Extensors, Serratus Anterior, Soleus, Gastrocnemius
From Yoga Journal, here are the Benefits of Adho Mukha Svanasana...
1. Calms the brain & helps relieve stress & mild depression.
2. Energizes the body
3. Stretches the shoulders, hamstrings, calves, arches, and hands
4. Strengthens the arms and the legs
5. Helps relieve the symptoms of menopause.
6. Relieves menstrual discomfort when done with head supported.
7. Helps prevent osteoporosis
8. Improves digestion
9. Relieves headache, insomnia, back pain, & fatigue
10. Therapeutic for high blood pressure, asthma, flat feet, sciatica, sinusitis.
There are more reasons than ever to practice this pose; thankfully it is a part of most if not all yoga practices!!
I am still searching for the story or the reason behind this pose... Some sites discuss the body becoming a ray of light - when in Down Dog drawing the focus from the pelvis to the throat. I'll see what else I can find.