The postures of Surya Namaskar, the Sun Salutation- a deeper insight.

5. Adho mukha svanasana – downwardface dog posture

The Posture: From ashwa sanchalanasana  (equestrian pose) step the left foot back, simultaneously lifting your hip upwards, so that the sit bones are pointing up.Keep your knees as straight as possible; drop the heels towards the floor; ( do not force this extension ; allow the hamstrings to relax naturally). Lower your head between your hands. Press your palms into the floor and extend your spine.

One of the few postures that allows for the tri-bandhas or energy locks- mula, uddiyana, jalandahra bandha- to be practised simultaneously.

The Breath: Deep exhalation, tucking the abdomen in and up after the complete exhalation.
The attitude: One of turning within even as you remain deeply rooted.
The focus: Vishuddhi chakra – the Throat Center- releasing energy to express one’s uniqueness.
The understanding: Moving into the fifth element-akasha or space- refining one’s personal evolution;connecting to your center, gathering and radiating innate energy.

The chant: om (hraoum) khagaya namaha – ‘hraoum’ being the beeja or seed syllable that is purely vibrational in nature.
The mantra meaning: Salutations to the one who moves through the sky, connoting the energy of activity.

Benefits at the –

Physical Level: Very deeply stretches the spine and the hamstrings. Works on the abdominal muscles through the breath.
Mental Level: Helps to focus; the beginning of pratyahara, the inward turn that frees you from external distractions
Energetic Level: Gathers you at the center. Helps seal dissipating energy.
Spiritual Level: Increase the spiritual fire. Helps redirect, channelize energy.

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