The first asana in the Ashtanga yoga series is adho mukha svanasana or downward facing dog.
adho = downward
mukha = face
svana = dog
Take care that
- your feet are hip width apart. Also your hips are not that wide. The feet are rather close together
- the legs are engaged. All asanas are active poses.
- the hands are firm on the floor, too, the fingers are spread
- the shoulders always move away from the ears.
- dristhi is towards the navel.
- the bandhas are engaged
- the back is straight it doesn't hang through, the pose forms a triangle with the floor.
If practiced comme if faut, this asana can prepare for many asanas that follow:
- When the hands are firm at the floor and the fingers spread it prepares for all the arm balancing asanas
- Often I enlarge the distance between hands and feet to stretch the back of the leg above the verse. This is needed for pashasana.
- Deep breathing and engaging the bandhas is relatively easy to practice when in this pose. To be able to do this is important for the entire practice
- Strong legs are necessary for all the back bending asanas. One can start exercising them here.
No asana without vinyasa............this shall be one of my next posts.
For me the sun salutations are no more only a warm up exercise. If done correctly they prepare for following asanas.