Downward Facing Dog- Adho Mukha Svanasana
The most ubiquitous and well known asana out there, downward facing dog, for those in the biz, DFD. You’d think, with its almost instantaneous recognition that this is the ultimate asana, but what is really interesting is that most styles of yoga consider, Sirsasana, headstand, to be the king of all asana. Even more interesting, DFD isn’t even a part of some styles of yoga, it is not mentioned or practiced at all.
If you are a fan of dehydration, smelly floors and repetitiveness then you have probably heard of Bikram yoga. In this style of yoga, there are 26 postures, and out of those, DFD is used 0 times.
DFD is so popular because it is one of the building blocks of all three Surya Namaskar, Sun Salutations. However, just because it is found in almost every single yoga class, and it usually gets thrown out there as one of the first asana, it does not mean it is necessarily “easy.” DFD can be quite challenging. It requires your hamstrings to be pretty fairly open, flexibility in the heels and Achilles tendon. Not to mention, a sturdy shoulder girdle and enough body awareness to activate your forearms, triceps and shoulders to not sustain any wrist injuries. Next time you get down, dog, remember to stretch and engage.
For any Bikram fans out there, I am not intentionally dissing. I can see the benefits of the practice and the more yoga out there, the better the world is. But I’ll leave you with one last thought: every time you hit those 106 degrees, your money is going here: