Adho Mukh Svanasana: For correcting spine posture and diaphragmatic breathing

Atul Vyas 

Scoliosis is a condition of the spine in which there is lateral curvature of the spine. It is a deformity of growth in the spine which causes it to twist to one side. It can be so mild that it is barely noticeable and creates few or no symptoms or may be very severe causing difficulty in walking or breathing.

True structural scoliosis begins either in infancy, when it can prove to be very severe or in the early adolescence phase, when it becomes more obvious during the growth spurt.

If one’s back appears crooked while standing or bending to one side and slightly forward or if one shoulder blade appears to be more prominent than other then such condition can be called scoliosis.

Even a mild scoliosis may lead to general ache in the back, shoulder or neck in later years. It is also possible that a person suffering from severe scoliosis may develop degeneration of joints between vertebrae in the later stages of life.

There are many yogic interventions which may help in correcting this condition. These yoga postures not only minimize asymmetric posture but also correct diaphragmatic breathing.

One of them is Adho Mukh Svanasana or downward dog posture. ‘Adho mukh’ means having a face downwards. Svana means a dog.

This pose resembles a dog stretching itself with head and forelegs down while hind legs up therefore its name Adho Mukh Svanasana.


  • Lie on the floor on your belly with face downwards, and feet apart
  • Keep the palms by the side of the chest with fingers pointing towards the head
  • Raise the hips from the floor as high as possible without straining

  • Straighten the arms with head between them facing downwards, and extend the back
  • Keep the legs straight, pressing the heels down

  • Keep the heels and soles of the feet completely on the floor, with feet parallel to each other
  • Stay in this position for ten seconds and then gently come back to starting position


  • Eradicates stiffness in shoulder blades

  • Helps in giving relief in arthritis of shoulder joints
  • Strengthens abdominal muscles
  • Relaxes the heart
  • Induces correct diaphragmatic breathing
  • Stretches the spine and corrects any deformations in curvature of the spine
  • Gives a good and effective stretch to spine, hamstrings muscles, shoulders and neck

Atul Vyas likes to be called a “Yoga Scientist”. He is a celebrity yoga trainer and has trained several top Hollywood and Bollywood stars. He has trained for years under many eminent yoga gurus including his illustrious mother Daya Vyas, the first lady yoga guru of India.

Images courtesy of (Image: YogaUonline) and Provided

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