I used to be so indifferent toward this pose and never really thought much of it. It sort of always reminded me of the lemon sorbet they serve between fine dining courses to cleanse the taste buds to better enjoy the next treat.
But upon learning that the word for “worship” in Matthew 2:11 (the response of the wise men upon meeting Jesus for the first time) is “proskyneo” which means to kiss the hand, like a dog licking the hand of his master, this Downward Facing Dog pose, or as its known in the Sanskrit, Adho Mukha Svanasana, has a whole new meaning.
It might be a cleansing or resting pose between other poses and flows, but it means something…
It is the act of literally taking a posture of one not worthy of the tender loving care and scandalous grace that I have received from my Lord, bowing down as a dog to its master. And I don’t feel degraded by that at all. I am loved, and care for, and provided for by a Lord I can trust and rely upon, who never fails or mistreats me.
I’m humbled and lifted up at the same time, because I know that I don’t deserve it but I rest securely in His love which NEVER fails.
“They entered the house and saw the child with his mother, Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasure chests and gave him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.”(Matthew 2:11 NLT)