Upward-Facing Dog (Urdhva Mukha Svanasana)- Definition steps benefits with precautions

Upward-Facing Dog, or Urdhva Mukha Svanasana, is a popular yoga pose that is often included in Vinyasa and Ashtanga yoga practices. It is a powerful and energizing backbend that stretches the front of the body and provides numerous benefits for both physical and mental well-being.

Sanskrit Slok:
“ऊर्ध्वमुखशवासनो यः स धनुरासनो भवेत्।
नभे चन्द्रं कटौ यस्य शयने पद्मसंस्थले॥”
Translation: The one who practices Upward-Facing Dog regularly can attain the posture of a bow. He/she can bring their navel towards the sky and rest the moon at their hips.

Steps to do:
1. Start by lying face down on the mat with your legs extended and the tops of your feet resting on the mat.
2. Place your hands on the mat next to your ribs, with your elbows pointing toward the ceiling.
3. Inhale and press into your hands to lift your chest off the mat, keeping your legs and pelvis grounded.
4. Engage your thighs and lift your kneecaps off the mat while keeping your shoulders relaxed and down away from your ears.
5. Press the tops of your feet into the mat and lift your thighs and hips off the mat to straighten your arms as much as possible.
6. Hold the pose for a few breaths, then exhale and release back down to the mat.

– Stretches the chest, lungs, shoulders, and abdomen
– Strengthens the spine, arms, wrists, and legs
– Improves posture and helps relieve mild depression and fatigue
– Opens the heart and promotes emotional balance
– Can help relieve sciatica and asthma

– Avoid this pose if you have any back injury or if you are pregnant.
– If you have wrist pain, try practicing the pose on your fists or with your hands on blocks.
– Always listen to your body and avoid pushing yourself too far into the pose.

By incorporating Upward-Facing Dog into your regular yoga practice, you can experience a wide range of physical and mental benefits. Whether you are looking to strengthen your back and arms, improve your posture, or bring balance to your emotions, this pose offers a powerful and transformative experience. Give it a try and see how Upward-Facing Dog can enhance your overall well-being.