What Does the Downward Dog Really Mean?

Posted by Stacey Venzel
Beautiful woman with her dog playing on the sea shore. Outdoor p

Yoga is filled with downward dog poses, but there's a reason the pooches do it.

Even if you're not a yogi, you probably know the downward dog pose. All canines do it--and a lot of humans on mats do, too.

The downward dog is a low to the ground bow in which the hind end is raised high in the air and the forearms and chest are pushed toward the floor. Essentially, it's an upside V.

If your pup does this pose often, you're doing something right. Happy dogs are most likely to do the downward dog pose. But they don't just do it because they're content.

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Woman in white costume doing Yoga and looking at the dog on the beach near the ocean in India

This bow is an invitation for playtime to humans, other dogs, or fellow animal friends. No matter a dog's size, age, breed, or social hierarchy, you'll catch him or her doing this very pose.

The downward dog is often accompanied by yawns, tail wagging, and additional stretches, all anticipatory for exciting playtime.

A dog's body language is always communicating something. You just have to look closely to learn what they're telling you!

Do you know why other animal yoga poses get their names? Tell us in the comments below.

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What Does the Downward Dog Really Mean?