Upward-Facing Dog or Urdhva Mukha Svanasana is a active pose that awakens upper-body strength and offers a good stretch for the chest and abdomen. It is also one of the most common poses in vinyasa flow sequencing. Urdhva mukha = face upward (urdhva = upward mukha = face)svana = dog
Upword Facing Dog Pose Steps
- 1. Begin by lying on your stomach, feet hip-width apart. Stretch your legs back. Tuck your toes for a moment and stretch out through your heels to lengthen the backs of your legs.
- 2. Bend your elbows and place your hands on the floor so that your forearms are more or less perpendicular to the floor. Your elbows should be close to your torso.
- 3. On an inhale, press your palm into the the floor and roll the tops of your shoulders back. Then straighten your arms and simultaneously lift your chest up.
- 4. Rotate the shoulder blades against the back,Lift the top of the sternum without pushing the front ribs forward to avoid to compressing the lower back.
- 5. Breathe and hold for 1-3 breaths.Release back to the floor or lift into Adho Mukha Svanasana with an exhalation.
Video credit - Howcast
If you have hard time sustaining weight through your arms try changing the angle of the pose to bring more weight into your legs. Place yoga blocks under the palms. or even a chair seat.
Upword Facing Dog Pose Health Benifits
Below listed are the benefits of Urdhva Mukha Svanasana that you can get after a regular practice:
No Back Pain
While doing this pose, your lower back remains pressed closer to the floor. This effective way of touching the surface of the ground.results in the strengthening of the lower back muscles. Besides, it also reduces any sort of stiffness and pain in your back.
Strengthen the wrists, arms, and Shoulders
You bear an ample amount of bodyweight on your shoulders and arms while practicing Urdhva Mukha Svanasana. So, in order to stretch the shoulders, you can consider this pose as it will require you to get the maximum stretch out of these.
Upword Dog Pose is found to improve the capacity of your lungs to hold the oxygen for a longer span. While doing this pose, when you expand the upper chest and take it slightly behind, the muscles get a great stretch in the chest, making the way for more copious lungs and the diaphragm. You can also recommend this pose to someone who is suffering from asthma for a deep and relaxed breathing pattern.
Upword Facing Dog Pose Variation
As students have varying abilities, a given yoga pose may be easy for a particular student but hard for another. In such cases, as a yoga teacher you can introduce pose variations to further challenge a student who is finding a specific yoga pose easy, or introduce an easier variation of a pose for the student who is finding the main pose hard.
Pose variations can therefore help your students grow and build further confidence in their yoga practice no matter what there starting ability levels are.
Upward Facing Dog Pose With Chair
Urdhva Mukha Svanasana (Upward-Facing Dog Pose) With Chair can benefit students with the main focus on flexing the back to go in a more advance backbend. Also in Chair Yoga Sequence, yoga teachers can introduce this as part of Office Yoga.
Upward Facing Dog Pose Blocks Under Palm
Upward Facing Dog Pose Blocks Under Palm uses props to make the pose convenient and easier for students who may not have the required strength, flexibility or balance to do the same pose without props.