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Pose of the Week: Upward-Facing Dog

By MetroPowerYoga | In Blog | on December 9, 2014

Our pose of the week is Upward-Facing Dog Pose (Urdhva Mukha Svanasana). We see this pose a lot during Sun Salutations, but it can be practiced alone. It has a lot of benefits:

  • Improves posture
  • Strengthens the spine, arms, wrists
  • Stretches chest and lungs, shoulders, and abdomen
  • Firms the glutes
  • Stimulates abdominal organs
  • Helps relieve mild depression, fatigue, and sciatica
  • Therapeutic for asthma

To do Upward-Facing Dog, lie face down on the floor and extend your legs, with the tops of your feet pressed on the floor. Bend your elbows and spread your palms on the floor beside your waist so that your forearms are almost perpendicular to the floor. As you inhale, press the inner rim of your hands into the floor and back, as if you were trying to push forward along the floor. Straighten your arms as you lift your torso and legs a few inches off the floor. Keep the thighs hugging in and turned inward. Arms turn out so the elbow creases face forward. Press the tailbone toward the pubic bones and narrow the hip points. Draw shoulder blades onto the back and puff the side ribs forward. Lift through the sternum, avoiding pushing the front ribs forward. Look straight ahead or slightly up, taking care not to compress the back of the neck.

You may need to avoid or stay in Cobra pose if you have lower back or wrist pain.

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