How to do Adho Mukha Virasana
The below cues added by yoga teachers show multiple ways to do Adho Mukha Virasana depending on the focus of your yoga sequence and the ability of your students.
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knees wider than hips, elbows off the floor ...
exhale childs pose to rest 2B walk the hands to the right 3B back to center walk them to the left 3B back to center make your way onto your back ... ...
exhale sit the hips back and take a rest in childs pose ...
come into childs pose take a few inhale/ exhales bringing your attention inwards ...
There part breath, breath belly against thighs, massage organs, digestive system A lot of poses to work on getting things moving in the disgestive sy... ...
Stretch out in Childs pose with arms extended ...
After Pigeon on both sides, take a Child's pose. ...
- Sink the hips back onto the heels. - Keep the arms extended along the mat. ...
- Engage core (lift pelvic floor and draw belly back) to control movement. - Fold forward and extend arms along the mat, sinking hips back to heels. ... ...
-Sink the hips back onto the heels. - Keep the arms extended along the mat. ...
- Engage core to control movement. - Fold forward and extend arms along the mat. - Spread fingers wide and press hands into the mat. ...
- Slowly release and unwind to plank - Lower to all fours and shift your weight back towards your heels to relax in Extended Childs Pose or Downward ... ...
2. OPEN KNEES - SIT OVER HEELS RETURN TO PLANK 3X ...
A. Inhale and come back to Vajrasana and open the eyes after releasing the head and neck. B. Inhale, extend the spine and as you exhale, stretch t... ...
Discover more cues, teaching ideas, and how to do steps at How to Do Adho Mukha Virasana
Adho Mukha Virasana Benefits
Considered to be a great therapeutic pose, there are many more benefits that will be derived from the practice of this pose. They are mentioned below:
- Stretches and Opens the hips, thighs and the legs: With the pressure in the inner thighs, the knees, the ankles and at the hips, this pose brings a great stretch to the entire hip muscles, the hamstrings, quadriceps and the calves. Though this stretch is gentle, it is a great opener for the above said muscles.
- Stretches and expands the entire back: This pose also stretches the entire back, mainly the sides of the upper back while the arms are stretched out completely. This stretch as explained in the human anatomy is at the Latissimus Dorsi muscles.
- Acts as a restorative pose for the hip and back muscles: The Downward Facing Hero Pose is considered as a restorative pose and hence can be practiced after a good yoga session for the lower back and the hips. This pose can act as a counter movement to the spine after the practice of deep backbend poses acting as peak poses.
- Stretches and expands the spine: With the arms stretched out deep forward, the spine too then gets its stretch. This also helps it to lengthen with the stretch which works as a great advantage for the practice of various deep yoga poses.
- Pressure at the stomach and the abdominal muscles helps in digestion: While the tummy is pressed against the thighs in Continue reading more on Adho Mukha Virasana Benefits
Adho Mukha Virasana Contraindications
- Not to be practiced by those who have injured knee or any kind of ligament tear at the knee joint.
- No injury at the ankles including ligament tear.
- People with very weak hips or lower back muscles, should take it easy first with the practice of Virasana before attempting this variation.
- Women in her later stages of pregnancy should avoid this practice, as it will be hard both on the knee and the hips.Can lead to cramps in the tummy while doing this pose if the breathing is wrong or hard.
- Very weak digestive system can be considered as a contraindications, if one is not familiar with yoga practice and hence best done with guidance.
Adho Mukha Virasana Variations
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Adho Mukha Virasana Steps
Steps to follow for the practice of Adho Mukha Virasana or Downward Facing Hero Pose, is given below.
- Start to kneel down at the centre of the mat on your knees while extending the legs behind you resting the upper feet on the floor.
- Inhale, and bringing the knee close to each other, sit down slowly taking the hips towards the floor.
- While going down, place the feet apart, bringing the hips on the floor to settle.
- Your feet are slightly wider than your hips, while the upper ankles and the toes touch the floor.
- Seated comfortably on the floor supporting the spine and the hips, make sure the knees touch each other, flexing the upper thighs and hips.
- Extend the spine upwards straight from the base of the spine and bring the shoulders down and against your back.
- Place the hands on the thigh in front of you and take 4 breaths to be seated in Virasana.
- Inhale and raise the arms above your head extending the torso and as you exhale go forward stretching the arms on the floor while resting the chest, face, abdomen respectively towards the floor and the thighs.
- Stretching out the entire arms on the floor bring them parallel to each other while resting the palms on the floor. Using the abdominal muscles and the lower back muscles, stretch deeper as you exhale completely.
- Flexing the knees and the ankles, watch for the stretch at the thighs, the quadriceps and at the hips. The base of the spine would feel tight initially to go forward to completely touch the floor with the face, but with practice this can be achieved.
- Inhale, loosen the body and exhale go deeper with the forward downward stretch. Remain here for about 5 breaths.
- Inhale and raise the head up first, the arms next, the shoulders and the chest, the abdomen and the hips to come to sit back in Virasana with complete exhalation. Release and relax, if required stretching the legs out in Dandasana. Inhale and repeat this again folding the legs at the knee and placing the upper foot on the floor to go into the second round of practice of Adho Mukha Virasana or Downward Facing Hero Pose.
- One could release to go into Downward Facing Dog Pose too as a counter movement.
Adho Mukha Virasana Modifications
For beginners this pose could be challenging as it is hard on the knee and the ankles, and hence modifying this pose can help to practice this variation of Virasana.
Placing yoga block on the floor behind you, to rest the hips can be a good start. Placing rolled up blankets or yoga mats just behind and below the back of the knee could be a good support for the thighs. Make sure the yoga blocks are placed on the floor between your feet.
Adho Mukha Virasana Preparatory Poses
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Adho Mukha Virasana Relaxing Follow-up Poses
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Adho Mukha Virasana Level Up Follow-up Poses
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Adho Mukha Virasana Yoga Sequences
Adho Mukha Virasana Titles in English and Sanskrit
Many yoga poses have multiple titles because of differences in their Sanskrit to English title translation or a specific title becoming popular because of it's common usage amongst yoga teachers and yoga practitioners. Below are common titles of Adho Mukha Virasana:
- Downward Facing Hero Pose
- Adho Mukha Virasana
Adho Mukha Virasana Sanskrit
Adho Mukha Virasana See Also
It is important to keep in mind that this pose, Adho Mukha Virasana, may look similar to Prasarita Balasana or Variation of Vajrasana, but it is not, as the feet and knees are placed differently. Only with practice will one be able to identify the difference in the various muscles that are stretched in these poses.