Downward Facing Dog or Adho Mukha Svanasana may very well be the most well-known yoga pose of all the postures. Chances are you have seen or heard of this pose, even if you're not a practicing yogi. Yes, believe it or not, the posture is named after the way a dog naturally stretches.
The Sanskrit breakdown for the name is as follows, "adhas" meaning down, "mukha" meaning face, "svana" meaning dog, and of course "asana" which means posture.
Many beginners are somewhat surprised to learn that Down Dog is really a resting pose during Vinyasa Flow sequences. As a beginner, you may initially find the pose to be quite a challenge and far from a good rest! However, as you grow stronger you will certainly cherish a few moments to rest within the posture. This yoga pose is also a big part of the Sun Salutations sequence during flow style classes.
As you will see below, the benefits of this pose can be vast in nature. Some of the primary muscles used during the pose, include the glutes, traps, hamstrings, triceps and lats. Downward Dog is also considered a mild inversion that offers the same benefits as many other more advanced inversion poses.