Adho Mukha Svanasana– downward facing dog pose with wall ropes, Level 1
Benefits: Practicing this way minimizes the weight born by the hands, arms and shoulders, i.e. If you experience shakiness in the arms, or shoulder pain, practice with this support so that you can hold the pose for a while longer (3–5 minutes). Working with this support allows the elbows, armpits and shoulder joints to open. Those with carpel syndrome tunnel will also benefit from this variation, as the spreading of the palms and fingers will help release enflamed muscles and ligaments, without strain.
Adho Mukha Svanasasa inverts the internal organs and calms the mind.
Going into Adho Mukha Svanasana with ropes
Secure the belt: If wall ropes aren’t available, you can loop a long yoga belt around some strong door handles, or banister that can bear your weight.
How to come into the pose
Step inside the belt, while standing place it at the top of your thighs and walk forward until it pulls taught.
Bend forward as for UTTANASANA, you may need to bend your knees to place your hands on the floor.
Step your feet back for dog pose, possibly on either side of the door.
Walk your hands forward as far as they will go. Once you get into the pose, be still and make your adjustments without moving the body from side to side so that the door doesn't wobble.
Key actions in the pose
Hands: make sure your hands are level and shoulder width, open the palms to the floor and lengthen your fingers.
Arms: Roll your inner, upper arms out. Squeeze your elbows in. Press the base of the index fingers down into the floor.
Legs: Roll your inner thighs back. Press your heels back and down. Lift and spread your toes. Press the base of your big toes down until you feel the outer calf muscles compress in onto the outer shinbone.
As a Restorative Pose: You can also practice this way to refresh the brain as part of a restorative sequence by supporting your head on a bolster or brick.