Name: Upward-Facing Dog:

Sanskrit:  Urdhva Mukha Svanasana

Pronunciation: OORD-vah MOO-kah shvan-AHS-anna

Pose Level: Beginner



·       The starting position is lying on the ground with the stomach and face towards the ground. Keeping the backs of your feet on the ground, keep your legs hip-width apart, apart from each other.


·           Place your hands under your shoulders, pay attention to the elbows, which should not be wide but tight against the body.

·           Once you have found the position, push with your hands on the ground and raise your chest and pelvis. If you have recently approached yoga and are unable to lift your pelvis, don't worry, it's normal: with time and constant practice you will be able to lift it. If you do not succeed, do not force yourself, you would risk making some wrong movements: just lift your chest by performing Bhujangasana, Cobra Pose.

·           When lifting your chest, focus on your shoulders: don't close them, keep them open and push them down. It is also important not to lean back too much, you risk getting hurt. And be careful to bend the entire back, focus on the spine, you have to bend it all in the same way.

·           Once you have reached the maximum bend (the first few times it can be even minimal, and that's okay) try to bring your head back, if you fail to look forward. At this stage it is essential not to contract the neck.

·           You are in Urdhva Mukha Svanasana, keep it as long as you can: as we always say, the first few times you will be able to keep it for a short time, as you practice you will be able to keep it up to a few minutes.




·       Upper body, Glutes

Pose Modifications

Upward-Facing dog dog position can be performed by everyone, both the most experienced and all those who are new to yoga. This asana is a real backward bend that allows a huge elongation of the spine and the whole torso. But be careful because, depending on how it is done, it can be very deep or light. Try these changes to see how you feel better in execution.
    It takes time to develop the strength needed to perform this asana. So if you have been doing yoga recently and you are still a beginner, I suggest you practice Bhujangasana, the cobra position, which is simpler and, being with the pelvis on the ground, allows you to better control the bend.
    Since initially it is not easy to pass with the feet resting with the sole until they rest on the back, especially if the movement is performed smoothly, until you can first perform Ardha Mukha Svanasana and at this point you can turn one foot at a time.
    You could initially put a yoga pillow between your thighs and the mat. This will help you tremendously in supporting your body weight. You can also move it further forward, under the pelvis, as you like. Try to be as comfortable as possible.
For the experts:
    If you want to deepen the position you can put two yoga bricks under your palms. In this way the back is arched more.
    Another way to intensify the position more is to push the legs towards the ground.



You should avoid its execution if:
    If you have carpal tunnel syndrome
    If you are pregnant, absolutely avoid it, as some pressure is created in the lower back.
    If you have pain in your elbows, lower back, shoulders or neck, otherwise you could make the situation worse. Rather it is always better to let the pains disappear and then resume the practice.


Poses Commonly Transitioned too:

Downward-Facing Dog

Poses Commonly Used Before Hand:

Cobra Pose, Chaturanga Dandasana 

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