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Upward Facing Dog Yoga Pose (Urdhva Mukha Svanasana)

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upward dog yoga pose practice

The Upward Facing Dog Yoga Pose or Urdhva Mukha Svanasana is a basic beginner pose I encourage everyone to learn.

Taking some time to practice it and master it is very important to avoid strain and injuries. Plus, it prepares your body for deeper backbends.

This is a powerful yoga pose. It has numerous physical and mental benefits. It promotes health and a sense of well-being.

Pay close attention to how you eel. Be mindful of your back and wrists especially. If you listen to your body, you will enjoy your yoga practice even more.

You want to master the Cobra pose before practicing this deeper backbend. Cobra is a good warm up and preparation for Upward Facing Dog.

It is an important part of Sun Salutation. It builds strength and flexibility effectively. During this sequence, it is often practiced with Downward Facing Dog.


The Benefits of Upward Facing Dog or Adho Mukha Svanasana.

plank yoga pose upward dog

The Upward Facing Dog yoga pose stretches the chest and spine. It is also a strength-building pose. You will gain strong wrists, arms, and shoulders with regular practice.

Plus, it improves posture and lung capacity by opening the chest. Upward Facing Dog stimulates internal organs and promotes overall health.

It treats back pain, rejuvenates the body, and relieves fatigue. It provides a good balance to forward bends for a well-rounded practice.

Here are some of the many benefits of this amazing yoga pose:

  • Stretches the spine and chest.
  • Builds upper body strength.
  • Strengthens the wrists.
  • Open the heart and lungs.
  • Improves posture.
  • Firms the buttocks.
  • Rejuvenates the body.
  • Boosts the immune system.
  • Increases digestion and detoxification.
  • Improves circulation and heart health.
  • Reduces fatigue and gives energy.
  • Calms the mind and and helps relax.
  • Relieves stress and anxiety.
  • Eases back pain.


The Best Tips To Practice Upward Facing Dog Yoga Pose.

upward dog yoga pose

When practicing this pose, try to improve your balance and posture. Place your hands and feet a bit wider apart for more stability in the beginning.

You will master it and perform this posture as intended if you practice it often. Make sure to listen to body, start slow, and do not push yourself too hard when starting out.

Bring awareness to your whole body. Check your correct alignment every time. It is the foundation of every other backbending yoga pose. Take time to master it.

Listen to your body closely and do what feels right for you at all times. Work within your own limits and abilities.

Maintain muscle tension throughout the pose to keep awareness. It will increase your musculature and improve your posture in the long term.

Do not overextend your knees. Do not compress the knee joint to prevent any strain, stress, and injury.

For extra support, place yoga blocks under your hands. It takes time to build the flexibility and strength needed.

Avoid practicing Upward Facing Dog if you suffer from back or wrist injury, carpal tunnel syndrome, headache. Women who are pregnant should also avoid practicing this pose.

If you have difficulty keeping your legs above your yoga mat, use a foam roller and place it below your top thighs. Rest your thighs lightly on the foam roller.

How To Do Upward Facing Dog Yoga Pose (Urdhva Mukha Svanasana).

Here are the step by step instructions to practice the Upward Facing Dog Yoga Pose. It is important to calm your mind and breathe deeply.

  1. Lie on your stomach.
  2. Stretch your legs back.
  3. Place your hands alongside your body.
  4. Place your forearms perpendicular to the floor.
  5. Keep your elbows close to your body.
  6. Press your shoulder blades into your upper back.
  7. Keep the tops of your feet on the mat.
  8. Press the floor through your hands.
  9. Straighten your arms.
  10. Firm your buttocks.
  11. Lift your torso and your legs.
  12. Align your shoulders over your wrists.
  13. Press down firmly through the tops of your feet.
  14. Engage your leg muscles.
  15. Drop your shoulders away from your ears.
  16. Lift your chest toward the ceiling.
  17. Draw your shoulders back and your heart forward.
  18. Do not crunch your neck.
  19. Keep your head neutral and gaze forward.

Summing up:

The Upward Facing Dog Yoga Pose or Urdhva Mukha Svanasana is a great pose to learn in preparation for deeper backbends.

Make sure you have mastered the yoga Cobra pose beforehand. A good warm up is recommended before jumping into the pose.

Practice it often and you will definitely notice positive changes in yourself. More strength, flexibility, energy and better posture are some of the major benefits.

About the Author: Alex Assoune

Alex Assoune Alex is an engineer, author, entrepreneur, and coach from France. He has a passion for learning, healthy living and helping others improve their lives. He is an advocate of personal growth and loves to teach about what he learned, to help everyone get better and reach their goals.

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