Young woman performing upward facing dog yoga pose

Upward Facing Dog - Urdhva Mukha Svanasana

March 08, 2019

Upward Facing Dog – Urdhva Mukha Svanasana

This posture will lengthen the whole front side of the body, it provides a great stretch for the digestive system too, but care must be taken to make sure that the lower back remains long and the neck maintains alignment with the spine. 

This posture is not suitable for beginners, it is often included in stronger yoga practices and used as a transission during Surya Namaskar (sun salutation).

If this posture does not feel comfortable try cobra, keep your hips on the floor and lift your chest and start by just placing your forearms to the ground with your elbows just in front of your shoulders. 

How to Perform Upward Facing Dog – Urdhva Mukha Svanasana

Urdhva – Upward

Mukha – Face

Svana – Dog

Asana - Pose

OORD-vuh MOO-kuh shvan-AHS-uh-nuh

Begin lying on your tummy, place your hands in front of your shoulders and carefully peel your upper body from the ground.  If you feel comfortable engage your legs and lift your knees, feel as though you are pushing the ground away with your hands,  so that hands and the top of your feet support your body.  Keep your neck in line with your spine and your lower back long.

Hold for five complete breaths and then rest on your tummy before repeating two more times.

On completion of these postures roll onto your back and gently draw both knees in towards your chest for ten or more complete breaths.