How To Draw Downward Facing Dog Pose (Adho Mukha Shvanasana): Step-by-Step Guide With Video
Greetings, my lovely Yogis, Yoginis, and Yoga teachers. I’m George Watts, a BWY yoga teacher and creator of the online Yoga Genie Lesson Planner.
Today, I’d like to share with you how I draw the Downward Facing Dog Pose (Adho Mukha Shvanasana) which includes a step-by-step guide with a video.
How To Draw Downward Facing Dog Pose: Step-by-Step Doodle Guide
The process I follow to draw all Yoga stick figures involves a consistent 4-step formula. The first step is to draw the body, followed by the head, then the legs, and finally, the arms.
I suggest you use the same 4-step formula when you draw yoga stick figures, to keep things simple.
Next up, I provide the steps for drawing the stick figure with the rectangle body.
Step 1: Draw The Body
Always start your Yoga stick figure doodle with the body! Why?
Drawing the body of the yoga stick figure first is a recommended approach because it provides a foundation and framework for the rest of the figure. By starting with the body, you can establish the overall shape and proportion of the figure, which can make it easier to add the head, legs, and arms later on.
Draw a rectangle to represent the body.
Step 2: Draw The Head
Draw an oval for the head. If you want to make the stick figure even easier to draw, don’t bother with the neck (though, I like my figures to have a neck). I also like to put a large pointy nose on my stick figures when it points to the left or right to show where the figure is looking.
Step 3: Draw The Legs
Draw the legs and feet.
Step 4: Draw The Arms
Draw the arms.
That’s it. You’re done. Wasn’t as hard as you thought, was it? In the main graphic, there is also an image of the basic stick figure version of Downward Facing Dog.
For more tips and tricks on how to draw the Downward Facing Dog pose, take a look at my video.
Video Tutorial: Drawing Downward Facing Dog Pose
Next up, is my answer to: “Why draw Yoga poses, instead of using the online Yoga Genie Lesson Planner?”
“Why Draw Yoga Poses, Instead of Using the Online Yoga Lesson Planner?”
So, why would the creator of the online Yoga Genie Lesson Planner provide blog posts on how to draw Yoga stick figures?
Well, I created the Planner to make my yoga lesson planning quicker and easier, but sometimes I still like to draw my lesson plans in my notebook (I’m always doodling in my notebooks). Once I’ve doodled some ideas for a yoga lesson plan, I’ll flesh it out using the Planner.
Next up, 77 tips for creating Yoga stick figures
77 Tips For Creating Yoga Stick Figures
Here are 77 tips for creating yoga stick figures:
- Start with basic shapes like circles, ovals, and rectangles.
- Draw the body first, followed by the head, legs, and arms.
- Pay attention to the proportions of the figure.
- Use lines to create the spine and limbs of the figure.
- Keep the stick figure simple
- Avoid adding too much detail.
- Use references like photographs.
- Use drawings of people in yoga poses.
- Use my free Yoga Pose Directory (3000+ yoga stick figures).
- Practice drawing the same pose from different angles.
- Draw the same pose 100 times.
- Use a pencil to create the stick figure.
- Use a pen to create the stick figure.
- Draw the stick figure lightly so you can erase mistakes easily.
- Experiment with different mediums like charcoal.
- Experiment with different mediums like ink.
- Experiment with different mediums like watercolour.
- Experiment with different mediums like gouache paint.
- Add shading to create depth and dimension.
- Add a Yoga mat.
- Make the nose pointy and large to show where the eyes are looking.
- Study yoga anatomy to understand the body better.
- Use colour to make the figure stand out.
- Draw the figure in a natural and fluid motion.
- Add little doodle details (e.g. trees, birds, etc) if they are relevant.
- Draw a series of stick figures to show a sequence of poses.
- Add facial expressions to add a bit of humour.
- Practice drawing different yoga props like blocks.
- Practice drawing different yoga props like straps.
- Practice drawing different yoga props like blankets.
- Use a reference to understand the correct body alignment of the pose.
- Experiment with different styles of yoga like Hatha, Vinyasa, or Kundalini.
- Create stick figures in different environments like on the beach.
- Create stick figures in different environments like in a forest.
- Use pose types (e.g. balance poses) for yoga class themes.
- Use movement lines to show the flow of energy in the body.
- Write text above the pose (e.g. lift the heels).
- Write text to the side of the pose (e.g. right foot forward).
- Write the text in red.
- Write the text in orange.
- Practice drawing the same pose with different body types.
- Use bold lines to create a sense of strength and power.
- Add dotted lines around sequences in the lesson plan.
- Use symbolism to convey deeper meanings in the figure.
- Use humour to make the stick figure more relatable and fun.
- Create stick figures doing partner yoga poses.
- Draw the stick figure in a meditation.
- Experiment with different backgrounds for the figure.
- Experiment with different settings for the figure.
- Use symbolism to represent different elements like water.
- Use symbolism to represent different elements like fire.
- Create stick figures doing advanced poses like Crow.
- Use different angles to create interesting compositions.
- Create stick figures that show different stages of a pose.
- Use different poses to represent different themes like balance.
- Use different poses to represent different themes like strength.
- Practice drawing the same pose with different props.
- Use text about the pose or theme.
- Use bold colours to create a sense of vibrancy and energy.
- Draw some Yoga anatomy like the hip flexor.
- Draw core strengthening poses such as the Plank.
- Draw spine mobility poses such as Cat-cow.
- Draw poses with bolsters like this one.
- Draw Shoulderstand pose for an inversion theme.
- Draw a Gentle Low Lunge Twist to improve spinal mobility.
- Draw Savasana because it’s the most popular pose.
- Draw this variation of Downward Facing Dog pose.
- Draw Child pose to connect with your inner child.
- Draw Gorilla pose for a forest yoga lesson plan theme.
- Draw Squat pose to stretch the hips, groin, and spine.
- Draw Pyramid pose for an Egypt yoga lesson plan theme.
- Draw Bow pose using a strap to stretch the spine.
- Draw Bellow’s Breath and add a doodle of a real bellow.
- Draw Half Lord Of The Fishes pose to improve spinal mobility.
- Draw Warrior III pose for a Warrior-themed lesson plan.
- Draw Dolphin pose for a sea yoga lesson plan theme.
- Practice, practice, practice!
Next up, is my conclusion.
As with any type of drawing, practice and experimentation are key to improving your skills. Try drawing different types of yoga poses and experimenting with different arm positions and shapes to find what works best for you.
There are no rules to drawing Yoga stick figures. Even my 4-step formula can be thrown into the dustbin, along with all your practice drawings of Tree pose!
Hey, if you liked my guide on how to draw Tree Pose, you might like the epic blog post I wrote recently called 21 Yoga Poses For Your Spine: 101 Ways To Improve Spinal Health. Looking after your spine is important after long stints of yoga stick figure drawing practice. Below is one of the doodles I created for that post (maybe try drawing the stick figure with the bolster).
And oh yes, I almost forgot…
My free Yoga Pose Directory has over 3000 yoga stick figures, so if you’re on the hunt for more poses to practice drawing, you’re in luck! Simply, browse through the directory, find a yoga stick figure, open your notebook, and practice drawing it using my 4-step formula.
If you like creating yoga class themes, you’ll want to look at my blog post 101 Perfect Poses For A Peak Pose-Themed Yoga Lesson Plan, and this one: The Power Of Love: Lessons From The Still-face Experiment.
And if you want to streamline your yoga lesson planning process, check out my online Yoga Genie Lesson Planner.
And while you’re here, you might as well get your hands on 37 of my free Yoga lesson plans.
Get Your Yogic Hands On 37 Of My Free Yoga Lesson Plans
Below are 37 free downloadable yoga lesson plans that I’ve created for my own yoga classes using the Online Yoga Genie Lesson Planner. Feel free to use them for your own yoga classes, or as inspiration to come up with your own yoga class themes.