The Downward Facing Dog Pose to Low Lunge Pose flow (Adho Mukha Svanasana Anjaneyasana Flow) is a dynamic sequence that can help to improve strength, flexibility, and balance. The flow can help to promote balance and harmony in the body’s energy centers, which can have a positive impact on physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being.
|Known as:||Downward Facing Dog Pose To Low Lunge Flow, Adho Mukha Svanasana Anjaneyasana Flow|
|Sanskrit name:||अधो मुख श्वानासन अंजनेयासन|
|IAST:||Adho Mukha Śvānāsana to Anjaneyāsana|
|Pronunciation:||AH-doh MOO-khuh AHN-juh-nay uh-SUH-nuh|
|Type:||Standing pose flow|
|Total time:||30-60 seconds|
Up towards the hands
|Chakra:||Root chakra (Muladhara), Sacral chakra (Svadhisthana), Solar Plexus chakra (Manipura), Heart chakra (Anahata), Throat chakra (Vishuddha), Third Eye chakra (Ajna)|
|Indications:||Hips, hamstrings, arms, shoulders, core muscles, relaxation, stress, anxiety, balance, circulation, energy|
|Counterposes:||Child’s Pose (Balasana), Mountain Pose (Tadasana), Seated Forward Bend (Paschimottanasana), Bridge Pose (Setu Bandhasana), Corpse Pose (Savasana)|
|Preparatory poses:||Cat-Cow Pose (Marjaryasana-Bitilasana), Standing Forward Bend (Uttanasana), Low Lunge (Anjaneyasana), Cobra Pose (Bhujangasana), Shoulder Opener (Gomukhasana)|
|Follow-up poses:||Warrior II Pose (Virabhadrasana II), Extended Triangle Pose (Utthita Trikonasana), Pigeon Pose (Kapotasana), Tree Pose (Vrikshasana), Seated Forward Bend (Paschimottanasana)|
|Contraindications:||Wrist pain or injury, knee pain or injury, shoulder pain or injury, high blood pressure or low blood pressure, pregnancy|
The Downward Facing Dog Pose to Low Lunge Pose flow is a combination of two yoga poses: Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose) and Anjaneyasana (Low Lunge Pose). Here is the meaning of each pose:
- Adho Mukha Svanasana:
- “Adho” = “downward”
- “Mukha” = “face”
- “Svana” = “dog”
- “Asana” = “pose” or “posture”
This pose is often referred to as Downward Facing Dog Pose because the body resembles an inverted V-shape, with the head and face pointing towards the ground like a dog stretching. The arms and legs are straight in this pose; the spine stretches out, and the hips are elevated, stretching the hamstrings, calves, and spine.
- “Anjane” = “salutation” or “praise”
- “Asana” = “pose” or “posture”
Because one leg is in a lunge posture and the other leg is reaching behind the body, this pose is commonly known as Low Lunge Pose. The pose involves bending the front knee, extending the rear leg, and lifting the arms overhead to stretch the hip flexors, thighs, and spine. This pose is also associated with the Hindu deity Hanuman, who is typically depicted in a similar lunge position.
The combination of these two poses provides a flow that can aid in the formation of strength, flexibility, and balance in the body while further promoting relaxation and a sense of calmness in the mind.
Benefits of Adho Mukha Svanasana Anjaneyasana Flow
Physical and mental benefits of the Downward Facing Dog Pose to Low Lunge Pose flow are listed below:
- Physical benefits:
- Stretches and strengthens the muscles of the legs, hips, and back
- Improves flexibility and range of motion in the joints
- Helps to relieve tension in the neck and shoulders
- Stimulates the digestive and respiratory systems
- Help to relieve symptoms of mild depression and anxiety
- Improves circulation and detoxification
- Mental benefits:
- Promotes a sense of calm and relaxation in the mind and body
- Helps to improve focus and concentration
- Encourages mindfulness and self-awareness
- Help to reduce stress and anxiety
- Promotes a sense of inner peace and well-being
Downward Facing Dog Pose To Low Lunge Flow Practice Guide
In this flow, move mindfully through each step of the sequence, breathing deeply and listening to your body’s needs. If you need to modify the pose, you can always use props such as blocks or blankets to support yourself.
- Begin in Downward Facing Dog Pose, with your hands and feet on the mat, and your hips lifted up towards the ceiling. Take a few deep breaths here to center yourself.
- On your next inhale, lift your right leg up and back behind you, coming into Three-Legged Dog Pose. Keep your foot flexed and your hips level.
- Exhale and step your right foot forward between your hands, coming into a lunge position. Your knee should be directly above your ankle, and your back leg should be extended straight behind you.
- Lower your left knee to the mat, and untuck your toes so that the top of your foot is resting on the mat. Slide your left leg back until you feel a stretch in your left hip.
- Inhale and lift your torso upright, bringing your arms up overhead. This is Low Lunge Pose. Take a few deep breaths here, lengthening through your spine and reaching up through your fingertips.
- To release the pose, exhale and bring your hands back down to the mat on either side of your right foot. Step your right foot back to meet your left, coming back into Downward Facing Dog Pose.
- Repeat the sequence on the other side, starting with Three-Legged Dog Pose and stepping your left foot forward into a lunge.
Some tips to keep in mind while transitioning from Downward Facing Dog Pose to Low Lunge Pose:
- Engage your core: As you move from Downward Facing Dog Pose to Low Lunge Pose, engage your core muscles to stabilize your body and maintain balance. This will allow you to progress through the sequence more effortlessly.
- Keep your front knee aligned: In Low Lunge Pose, make sure your front knee is aligned over your ankle, and does not extend past it. This will help protect your knee and ensure proper alignment.
- Relax your shoulders: Keep your shoulders relaxed and away from your ears, and avoid tensing up in your neck and shoulders. This will help you move more gracefully through the transition.
- Use your breath: Use your breath to guide you from one posture to the next. Inhale as you lift your leg in Three-Legged Dog Pose, exhale as you step your foot forward, inhale as you lift up into Low Lunge Pose, and exhale as you release the pose and step back into Downward Facing Dog.
- Take it slow: Move slowly and mindfully through the transition, taking time to feel the stretch and sensation in each pose. This will allow you to move with intention and elegance while being focused and present in the moment.
Modifications and variations
The variations of the Adho Mukha Svanasana Anjaneyasana flow are given below:
- Three-Legged Dog with Bent Knee: In Three-Legged Dog Pose, bend your lifted knee and open up your hip, allowing your foot to point towards the ceiling. This variation can help to deepen the stretch in your hip and hamstring.
- Low Lunge with Twist: Place your left hand on the mat and twist your torso to the right, bringing your right hand up towards the ceiling in Low Lunge Pose. This variation can help to open up your chest and stretch your oblique muscles.
- High Lunge to Low Lunge: From Three-Legged Dog Pose, step your lifted foot forward between your hands, coming into High Lunge Pose. On an exhalation, lower your back knee to the mat, coming into Low Lunge Pose. Inhale to lift back up into High Lunge, and exhale to lower back down into Low Lunge. This flow can help to build strength and endurance in your legs.
- Side Plank from Low Lunge: From Low Lunge Pose, place your left hand on the mat and lift your right arm up towards the ceiling, coming into Side Plank Pose. This variation can help to strengthen your core and improve balance.
- Low Lunge with Quad Stretch: From Low Lunge Pose, reach back with your left hand and grab your left foot or ankle, bringing it towards your glutes. This variation can help to stretch your quadriceps muscles and improve flexibility in your hips.
Precautions and contraindications
The precautions and contraindications explain below, with how they may affect your practice:
- Wrist pain or injury: In Downward Facing Dog Pose, the wrists are in a weight-bearing position, which can be challenging for some people with wrist pain or injury. To avoid aggravating any wrist issues, you can modify the pose by coming down onto your forearms, or by using yoga blocks for support.
- Knee pain or injury: In Low Lunge Pose, the front knee is in a flexed position, which can be challenging for some people with knee pain or injury. To avoid worsening any knee problems, modify your pose by placing a blanket or cushion beneath your knee or modifying your stance to decrease the depth of the lunge.
- Shoulder pain or injury: In Downward Facing Dog Pose, the shoulders are in an extended position, which can be challenging for some people with shoulder pain or injury. To avoid aggravating any shoulder issues, you can modify the pose by coming down onto your forearms, or by using yoga blocks for support.
- High or low blood pressure: Both Downward Facing Dog Pose and Low Lunge Pose can cause a shift in blood pressure, as the head is lower than the heart. If you have high blood pressure or low blood pressure, consult your doctor before attempting these poses, and practice gently and carefully to avoid any sudden or jerky movements.
- Pregnancy: If you are pregnant, it’s important to avoid any poses that involve lying on your belly or twisting deeply, as well as any poses that feel uncomfortable or strained. In the Downward Facing Dog Pose to Low Lunge Pose flow, you can modify the pose by placing a cushion or blanket under your knee, or by adjusting your stance to reduce the depth of the lunge.