Upward Facing Dog Yoga Pose

Upward Facing Dog Yoga Pose is a backbend pose that targets the lower back and shoulders and is ideal for yogis and yoginis at a beginner level.

svadisthana – the sacral chakra
manipura – the wisdom chakra
visuddha – the throat chakra
related poses
How To Do Upward Facing Dog Yoga Pose
  1. Begin by laying face down on the floor or mat, legs extended straight back and arms at your side. Your quads, shins and tops of the feet should all be pressed against the floor.
  2. Bring your hands up, placing them on the floor just at your armpits and slightly under the shoulders.
  3. Press your palms into the floor and spread out through your fingertips, then tuck your elbows in at your sides.
  4. Inhale and push strongly through your hands to push your torso up, lifting your hips and legs a few inches from the ground and straightening your elbows. Keep your hands and feet stationary as you lift.
  5. Press the tops of the feet into the mat. Lift your pelvis upward and pull your tailbone inward.
  6. Create an even arch in your backbend up through the top of your head, being sure not to push out your ribs or drop your head back too far. Lift up through the sternum and down through the tailbone, feeling a nice even crescent shape in your body.
  7. Hold this pose for 15-30 seconds. Repeat the pose if you feel comfortable. To come out, bend the elbows to lower yourself back to the floor as you exhale.
  • Breathe deeply through each step.
  • Do not attempt this pose if you have back, wrist or hand injury.
  • Avoid this pose if you are pregnant.
  • Avoid this pose if you are suffering from headaches.

Practice the Cobra Pose (Bhujangasana) to acquaint yourself with this pose, but be careful to note the distinctions between the two poses.

Stretches & Strengthens

All Muscles: Lower back, chest, abs, shoulders

Target Muscles: Lower back, shoulders, chest

Health Benefits of Upward Facing Dog Yoga Pose
  • Can relieve stress, anxiety and fatigue.
  • Opens up the chest, increasing lung capacity.
  • Relieves symptoms of asthma.
  • Can help relieve back pain.
  • Improves posture.

Sanskrit Name & Meaning

Sanskrit Name & Meaning

Urdhva Mukha Svanasana

(OORD-vah moo-kah shvah-NAHS-anna)

urdhva: upright, erect, elevated
mukha: face, mouth
svana: dog
asana: posture

History & Mythology

History & Mythology

There’s gotta be some history or mythology on this pose! We’ve looked high and low and have only come up with this message. Perhaps you have some information or resource for us to explore?