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  • Writer's pictureIsabella Luchi

The Downward Facing Dog

Updated: Jul 7, 2021

Learn about different ways to practice this yoga pose and it's benefits for singers.

Adho = downwards

Mukha = face

Śvāna = dog

āsana = pose

The pose that resembles a dog stretching out. In this pose our alignment goals are: feet parallel, heels pressing down the floor, legs and arms straight, back extended, fingers spread, soft neck and face, shoulders away from the ears, active muscles in the legs.

Now, take a look at the pictures on the right:

In which one can you see more space between ears and shoulders?

Can you notice any differences of position and relation between left and right in the shoulder blades and upper arms?

When you practice this pose, always try to create space around your neck.

If you find yourself closing your chest, bend your knees and focus on the expansion of the back. Bring your chest towards the feet.

If your heels don't touch the floor, you can place them on a folded blanket/ towel, or simply lean the heels against a wall! Pressing the heels will help you understand the action of straightening your legs and sending the sit bones to the sky. It will also take over part of the weight that was placed on your arms.

If this pose is still a burden, try this variation on the right using anything that can support your hands.

If you were at this park, like me in the photo, you could start at this height, holding the bar that is level with your hips (which is also known as "half forward bend"). Then grab the lower bar, then lower once more... If you are at home, you can start using the back of a chair, then moving to its seat.

This variation allows you to focus on the actions of alignment to prepare for the final pose, which will demand more strength and flexibility from the muscles.

Benefits for singers: this pose relieves fatigue and stiffness in the shoulder blades, calms the brain, strengthens the ankles, expands the ribcage. It helps singers develop the ability of requiring muscular action in various parts of the body, while keeping neck and face relaxed.

Learn more about how yoga can help you sing better with my new course Yoga & Voice 101!



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