UPWARD FACING DOG STEP-BY-STEP (URDHVA MUKHA SVANASANA)

by Isis du Jour July 30, 2017

Urban Goddess Upward Facing Dog

One of the most well known and probably also most practices back bend in a yoga practice, would most likely be Urdhva Mukha Svanasana, or better known as Upward Facing Dog.
As a vinyasa yoga practitioner, I am used to flow through this pose most of the time, but I do like now and then to take a bit more time, so that I really sink in the pose a bit deeper.
A few more breathes in this asana will also help you to become more aware of your posture and more aware of which muscles and body parts are engaged and strengthened.

For this occasion, I do like to guide you through the pose step-by-step and explain some of the do's and dont's, but first I would like to tell a bit about the overall benefits of this asana.

  • Improves your posture
  • Strengthens the spine, arms and wrists
  • Stretches the chest and shoulders
  • Helps to create space on the front of the body for breathing
  • Stimulates abdominal organs
  • Tones and shapes the buttocks

Urban Goddess Upward Facing Dog

UPWARD FACING DOG STEP-BY-STEP
  1) Lie on the floor on your front/belly.
  2) Stretch your legs back, keep feet on the floor.
  3) Bend your elbows and place your hand son the floor, just under the shoulders
  4) Spread all your fingers so that the full palms of your hands are on the mat
  5) Inhale and press your hands firmly into the floor and the straighten your arms
  6) At the same time lift your torso up and also just lift your upper legs/thighs up
  7) Keep the legs and thighs strong and firm
  8) Keep the arms firm and turned out so the elbow creases face forward
  9) Press tailbone toward the pubis and lift the
 pubis towards the navel
10) Lift the chest up and bring the shoulder blades together on the back
11) Look forward or bring the gaze upwards

DO'S

  • Keep core engaged to protect lower back
  • Keep the shoulders away from your ears
  • Knees go off the mat
  • Press top of feet in to the mat to lift the legs
  • Press firmly into the hands to lift the body up

DONT'S

  • Take care not to compress the back of the neck, so if you feel to much compression here, drop the head down a bit
  • Weight rests in wrists. Make sure you always spread all fingers and press palms to avoid wrist injuries
  • Do not collapse in the chest. Make sure chest is lifted and open for better posture


Photo: Urban Goddess Yoga & Active Wear



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