[Pose Of the Week] Twist Into Revolved Downward-Facing Dog Pose (Beginner-to-Intermediate)

Improve digestion and detoxification & challenge your flexibility and balance with Revolved Downward-Facing Dog Pose!

While Downward-Facing Dog is arguably the most popular yoga pose in the West, the revolved version is less common. Sometimes called “Revolving Downward Dog,” or “Down Dog Twist,” Revolved Downward-Facing Dog Pose (Parivrtta Adho Mukha Svanasana) is a slightly more intermediate version of the popular beginner pose. This variation provides similar benefits to regular Down Dog, but adds a deeper hamstring stretch along with enhanced detoxification, balance, and coordination benefits.

Downward-Facing Dog pose is known for providing a great stretch throughout the entire body, as well as building strength in both the lower and upper body and the core, increasing blood flow, energizing the nervous system, and relieving stress, headaches, fatigue, back pain, and more. Revolved Downward-Facing Dog ups the ante with an additional stretch to the hamstrings, torso, shoulders, and ribs, an extra challenge to your balance, and enhanced digestive benefits to improve your metabolism and remove toxins from the body.

Those with severe carpal tunnel syndrome, high blood pressure, eye or ear infections, or those who are in the late stages of pregnancy or have chronic injuries to the back, arms, or shoulders should avoid this pose.

Here’s how to do it, starting in Downward-Facing Dog Pose:*

  • From Downward-Dog pose, on an inhalation, lift your left hand and reach it beneath your torso and around to your right thigh. Allow your waist and torso to twist open to the right. Work toward placing your left hand on the ground to the outside of your right foot. If that is not possible yet, rest your hand on the outside of your right leg’s shin or upper thigh.
  • Turn your head to look underneath your right arm. Keep your gaze soft. If you have no neck pain, gaze up at the ceiling.
  • Hold for 5-10 breaths. To release, inhale as you un-twist and return your left hand to the mat. Come back into Downward-Facing Dog.
  • Repeat the pose on the other side for the same amount of time, and then finish in Downward-Facing Dog.


*Note: You should not attempt this variation until you are comfortable and familiar with regular Downward-Facing Dog pose – including proper form and alignment.


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