Upward Facing Dog Pose
Urdhva Mukha Svanasana
Step by step
• Lie on your stomach, with your hands next to the ribs, fingers pointing forwards, elbows tucked into your sides.
• Press the tops of your feet into the floor and engage the thighs and knees, and keep the tailbone pointing towards the heels.
• On an inhalation press into your hands and feet, straighten your arms and lift your chest and legs off the floor.
• Engage your lower belly and knit your lower ribs.
• Draw the shoulder blades onto your back and lift your breastbone.
• You can look straight ahead or up towards the ceiling.
• Stay for 1 to 5 breaths.
• To come out, as you exhale, lower yourself down to the floor or lift yourself into Downward Facing Dog pose.
• Press up actively from the palms, drawing the shoulders away from the ears to keep yourself from hanging in the pose.
• Draw the chest forward through the arms, moving the shoulder blades towards the tailbone.
• Keep your legs active, ensuring that the knees stay off the ground.
• Start with Cobra pose and move into Upward Facing Dog once you’re ready.
• Look upwards only if you can do so while keeping length in your neck.
• Opens the chest and lungs
• Stretches the front of your body, chest, and intercostal muscles between the ribs.
• Strengthens your wrists, arms, shoulders, upper back, and legs.
• Helps to counteract daily forward flexion activities such as sitting, texting or driving.
• Keep your legs and lower belly engaged to protect your lower back.
• Avoid tilting the head back too much if you are looking up in the pose. Keep your gaze at eye level if you have any neck injuries.
• Experiment with a variation of the pose by keeping your toes tucked.
• Try gently swaying your upper body from side to side once you’re in the pose.
Downward Facing Dog Pose
Adho Mukha Svanasana