How to Perform the Yoga Downward-Facing Dog Posture - dummies

How to Perform the Yoga Downward-Facing Dog Posture

By Georg Feuerstein, Larry Payne

The downward-facing dog posture in Yoga stretches the back of your body and strengthens your wrists, arms, and shoulders. This pose also sends blood to your brain, which can help make you more alert. Click here to watch a video that walks you through the downward-facing dog pose.


Here are the basic steps for this posture:

  1. Start on your hands and knees; straighten your arms, but don’t lock your elbows.

  2. As you exhale, lift and straighten (but don’t lock) your knees.

  3. Press your heels toward the floor and your head toward your feet.

  4. Repeat Steps 1 through 3 three times and then stay in Step 3 for six to eight breaths.

Be careful not to hold this posture too long if you have problems with your neck, shoulders, wrists, or elbows.