SANSKRIT: Adho Mukha Svanasana (AH-doh MOO-kah shva-NAH-sun-uh)

DESCRIPTION: The body is positioned in an inverted “V” with the palms and feet rooted into the earth and sits bones lifted up towards the sky. The arms and legs are straight. The weight of the body is equally distributed between the hands and the feet. The eye of the elbows face forward. The ribcage is lifted and the heart is open. Shoulders are squared to the earth and rotated back, down and inward. The neck is relaxed and the crown of the head is toward the earth. The gaze is down and slightly forward.

BENEFITS: Calms the brain and helps relieve stress and mild depression. Energizes the body. Stretches the shoulders, hamstrings, calves, arches, and hands. Strengthens the arms and legs. Helps relieve the symptoms of menopause. Relieves menstrual discomfort when done with the head supported. Helps prevent osteoporosis. Improves digestion. Relieves headache, insomnia, back pain, and fatigue. Therapeutic for high blood pressure, asthma, flat feet, sciatica, and sinusitis. Warms up the ankles and the toes.