The Holistic Benefits of Downward Facing Dog

Alyssa Dodson
The Holistic Benefits of Downward Facing Dog

Downward Facing Dog is arguably the most popular pose in yoga, at least in the western world. Ask any yogi the pose they practice most, and they will probably tell you Downward Dog. Ask a person who has never practiced before if they know the name of any yoga poses, “Oh yeah the dog one,” they’ll say.

Whether you enjoy Hatha yoga, Hot yoga, or something in between, the truth is you can never practice too much Downward Facing Dog.

This pose benefits your entire body and mind. It can even aid in fending off certain ailments and give your heart the emotional boost it’s been looking for.

Not convinced yet? Jump on your mat and give it a try, 'cause here are the holistic benefits of Downward Facing Dog.

Improved Circulation

Downward Dog is an inversion. Yes, that’s right! Any time your head is below your heart, you will soak up all of the wondrous benefits of being inverted.

Your body will thank you for giving it the chance to go upside down, which causes blood flow to reverse its direction. This helps your blood circulate more easily throughout your entire body.

Full Body Stretch

This, I believe, is the main reason people love Downward Dog so much. The pose allows you to stretch the entire back of your body to the intensity you wish.

Take it easier on your muscles by bending your knees, or straighten your legs fully for an intense stretch.

Build Bone Density

This is especially important for females who tend to suffer more from things like osteoporosis than our male counterparts.

Downward Dog is so great because it is a weight bearing pose, primarily helping in building bone density in our wrists and ankles. Repeating this pose can actually help you stave off osteoporosis, and how awesome is that?

Reduce Back Pain and Headaches

Do you suffer from back pain or recurring headaches? Downward Dog to the rescue!

This pose takes weight off of the spine and gives your entire back and neck a nice deep stretch. The result; less pain, more comfort.

Mood Booster

Did I mention that Downward Dog is an inversion? Oh right I did. Well, going upside down may benefit you in more ways than you think.

Seeing the world at a different angle can help us see and approach situations in a different way. Downward Dog's inverted stretch to your spine can help reduce stress and anxiety, so that when you turn right-side-up again, you are a more open, more energized version of yourself!

Connectedness

This benefit may slip by some people, but Downward Dog is a time to connect with your fellow yogis.

This is one of my favorite partner poses where you can help assist and adjust each other to find new depths of the pose. Partner poses are so great because they give us a sense of togetherness and makes us feel good by helping someone else.

What benefits do you receive from Downward Dog? If this is your favorite pose, we’d love to hear why. Share in the comments below!