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Yoga Basics: Upward-Facing Dog

Sanskrit Name:  Urdhva Mukha Shvanasana


Upward facing dog is a back bend.  

This pose opens the chest and strengthens wrists, arms and shoulders and back.

  • Starting from laying on your stomach.

  • Place your hands at chest height next to your torso.

  • Press the tops of your feet firmly into the ground. Feel the strength of your legs. Allowing the thighs to flex and your knees begin to slightly lift off the floor.

  • Relax your glute muscles.

  • Press your hands into the ground. Lift your your head, chest, stomach and hips off the floor as your straighten your arms.

  • Relax your shoulders away from your ears.

  • Your gaze is forward. Do not look overextend the neck by looking down or too far upward.


To counterbalance:

  1. Roll over your toes, lift hips to sky for downward facing dog.

  2. Lower to floor. Sit back on heels for child's pose.

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