Downward Facing Dog

Downward Facing Dog

Difficulty level: Intermediate | Muscle Group(s): Abdominals, Back, Back and Neck, Core, Hamstrings, Latissimus Dorsi, Legs, Total Body | Modality: Yoga


  • Increases flexibility primarily in the Latissimus Dorsi, Pectorals, and Hamstring group.
  • Increases stability strength in the shoulder girdle.


  • Start on your hands and knees with your hands directly underneath your shoulders.
  • Be sure the fingers are facing straight ahead.


  • Keeping your hands firmly in place, lift the knees off the floor.
  • Drive the hips high into the air, extending the legs.
  • Try to keep the heels on the floor (This is not imperative).
  • Try to keep a straight line running from the arms, through the spine and through the tail bone.
  • Straighten the legs as much as possible without letting the lower back round.
  • It is acceptable to allow the heels to come off the floor as well as slightly bend the knees to keep the back in a straight line.
  • Hold this position for 3 to 5 deep breaths.