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Adho Mukha Svanasana

Wiki info

The posture is similar to Gajāsana (elephant pose) in the 18th century Hațhābhyāsapaddhati; the description calls for the pose to be repeated "over and over again" from a prone position. Adho Mukha Svanasana is not described in the medieval hatha yoga texts, but a similar pose, together with a 5-count format and a method of jumps between poses resembling Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga's system, was described in Niels Bukh's early 20th century Danish text Primitive Gymnastics, which in turn was derived from a 19th century Scandinavian tradition of gymnastics; the system had arrived in India by the 1920s. Indian gymnastics, too, had a system of postures, called "dands" (from Sanskrit danda, a staff), linked by jumps, and one of the dands is close to Adho Mukha Svanasana. The dand exercises were not considered to be yoga in the 1930s. Swami Kuvalayananda incorporated the pose into his system of exercises in the early 1930s, from where it was taken up by his pupil the influential yoga teacher Tirumalai Krishnamacharya.

(AH-doh MOO-kah shvah-NAHS-anna) adho = downward mukha = face svana = dog


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