Upward Facing Dog
Urdhva Mukha Svanasana
By Megan Howe
Photo by: Mark Vanderpool
Upward Facing Dog is a backbend that improves posture, expands your chest and shoulders, and strengthens your spine and arms. Upward Facing Dog has been known to help relieve mild depression, fatigue, and even
low back pain. This pose can also be therapeutic for those suffering from asthma, as it opens the accessory muscles of your breathing and strengthens your lungs.
Lie on your yoga mat with your belly down and your feet hip width distance apart. Bring your hands towards the outer edge of your mat and in line with your rib cage. Spread your fingers wide, press in to the knuckle of your thumb, index, and middle finger and lift your chest off the earth. Stretch your toes out and press the tops of your feet down, engage and hug every muscle in your legs towards the center of your body to strengthen your spine. Soften your elbows, then move your shoulder blades towards your spine and actively press them into your body. Set your gaze forward and breathe in to your open chest.
You may need to modify this post, if you feel any pain or tension in your low spine. To modify the pose and bring ease to your body, simply tuck your elbows in to your sides, lower your thighs, and rest your belly on the floor.
For more empowering poses, visit us at Dancing Dogs Yoga, in Beaufort, Bluffton, and Hilton Head Island.