Upward Facing Dog – Urdhva Mukha Svanasana

Upward facing dogEtymology

Urdhva = Rising,  upward; Mukha = Face; Svana = Dog.

This Asana (= pose) is part of the traditional Sun Saluations.

Benefits

  • Strenghtens the spine
  • Allows to stretch the chest, abdominals and shoulders
  • Stimulates the abdominals organs
  • Improves posture
  • Soothes sciatica if properly performed

Instructions

  • Lie down on your belly;
  • Have your feet hips distance apart, slightly rotate your feet inward;
  • Top of the feet pressing down onto the floor;
  • Tailbone in, thighs active;
  • Hands flat on either side of your chest;
  • Inhale, press against the floor with your hands and top of your feet to lift your hips and chest up;
  • Keep your thighs active, lifting your knees off the floor;
  • Arms straight, wrists directly below your armpits (to avoid too much pressure on your lower back).