How to do Urdhva Mukha Svanasana (Upward Facing Dog Pose)

This is the counterpose version to adho mukha svanasana, “urdhva” means upward, so it is called upward facing dog pose. Urdhva mukh svanasana is related to the action of deep inhaling. It is also one of the positions in the traditional ‘surya namaskar’ (sun salutation) sequence. It will also help you to lift the chest in the poses like Tadasana and Virasana.

Steps to do Urdhva Mukha Svanasana

Start the asana by lying on the floor on your stomach. Stretch your legs back on the top of your feet. Bend the elbows and rest your palms on the floor beside your waist.

Now inhale deeply and raise your body up by straighten and pushing your arms on the floor, and pressing the tops of the feet down. Firm and stretch the thighs, and do not let the thighs touch the floor. Drop the hips keep the legs off of the floor. Entire weight of the shoulders will be on the wrists.

In the final position, the entire body weight is on the palms and top of the feet, and rest of the body is off the floor. Dont hang on your shoulder, which is a common mistake during the asana. Try to hold the final position for 1-2 minutes initially and then extend the time.

Release the position back to the floor, or you can also lift into Adho Mukha Svanasana with an exhalation and changing the pose.

You can also use a thick blanket below your top thighs to reduce the pressure on the legs.
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  1. It helps to expand your chest, shoulders, lungs, and abdomen.
  2. Strengthen the spine, arms, wrists.
  3. Stretch your hip.


Dont do it in case of back injury, headache, or pregnancy.

[highlight]It is advisable to perform any asana in the supervision of a qualified yoga instructor.[/highlight]

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Gautam Trehan

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