Upward Facing Dog

Urdhva Mukha Svanasana

Upward Facing Dog — Urdhva Mukha Svanasana — is a version of a backbend offered in the four part chaturanga flow of most vinyasa yoga classes. It is typically offered after demonstrating its more accessible version — cobra pose. As with all yoga poses, or asanas (in fancy Sanskrit lingo), Upward Facing Dog contains key elements that are mandatory for maintaining the integrity of your body throughout it, including the transition to and from it.

From a prone position lying on the floor face down, place your palms on the mat on either side of your chest with your fingers facing to top of the mat.

  • Press into the tops of the feet and the palms to lift everything off the mat, including the knees.
  • Draw your shoulder blades toward one another and down your back, keeping shoulders lowered away from the ears.
  • Open your chest and lift it.
  • Your head can drop back if this is ok for your neck. Gaze at your third eye.
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