Urdhva Mukha Svanasana (Upward Facing Dog Pose) | iHanuman


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Urdhva Mukha Svanasana

English Name: 
Upward Facing Dog Pose
Practice Type: 
Practice Level: 
Asana Image: 
Urdhva Mukha Svanasana Credit: Oksana Tara
Asana Description: 

Geometry: Hands Underneath Shoulders. Chest Lifted. Legs Stretched Back. Toes point straight back. And Legs straight. Arms Straight. Shoulders over wrists.


Lie on the floor in a prone position. Face Downwards.

The Feet are hip distance and parallel. Toes point straight back. Place the palms on the floor beside the lower side ribs. The fingers point towards the head. Spread the palms and fingers.

Inhale. Raise the head and trunk and stretch the arms completely. Lift the pelvis, thighs and knees away from the floor.

Press the head and trunk as far back as possible without resting the knees on the floor. The legs are straight. The weight of the body is on the palms and tops of the feet.

The torso, thighs and calves are stretched fully.

The pelvis presses down and the tailbone lengthens towards the heels.

Press the hands to lift the chest and roll the shoulder bones back as much as possible.

Lengthen the neck and take the head back and look up.

Bend the elbows and place the front of the body back on the floor in the prone position.

Additional Points:

Move the outer arms back to broaden and lift the chest.

Move the outer shoulders back to broaden and lift the chest.

Move the shoulder blades down and into the body to lift the chest.

Roll the tops of the front thighs in and spread the backs of the thighs out. Lengthen the tailbone down into that space.

Press the arms straight to lift the torso and sides of the waist.

Lengthen both sides of the waist.

Move the middle buttocks forward to take the pelvis forward.

Lengthen the fronts of the thighs downward towards the knees.

Extend through the inner thighs  to the inner heels.
Lift the inner thighs up towards the ceiling.

Broaden the ribs and the armpits.

Press the pelvis down to lift and lengthen the chest.

Take the lower sacrum in/down.

Move the back ribs in to lift the chest.

elbows in/shoulders back just as in prasarita padattonasana

remember to extend the fronts of the thighs down and internally rotate the thighs. the backs of the thighs roll out to spread the sacrum. thighbones move back and pelvis moves down.

remember to extend through the inner ankles. press the little toe side as much as the big toe side of the foot.
ust as in adho mukha svanasana outer arms back. outer shoulders back.

inner arms forward

sternum forward

trapezius muscles down and sternum forward and up

press the hands to lift the chest up.

more upper back and arm work. 

Sanskrit Pronunciation: 

The pose rejuvenates the spine and is recommended for a stiff back. The movement is good for persons with lumbago, sciatica and those suffering from slipped or prolapsed discs. The pose strengthens the spine and cures backaches. The lungs gain elasticity. The blood circulates properly in the pelvic region.

Beginners Tips: 

This asana may be performed with the toes in the same positions as Chaturanga Dandasana.


Learn to raise the trunk higher up, using the arms as support.

Modifications and Props : 

Common Problems:

The thighs rest on the floor.

The shoulders are forward of the wrists.

The legs are not stretched. The knees are bent.

The feet are collapsed, shortening the inner ankles.

The chest is not well-lifted.The shoulders round forward.


If you are not able to practice this pose, practice Bhujangasana with ropes at the wall.


Those who cannot bear the direct weight on the wrists due to the weak wrists, elbows and shoulders or who suffer from spondylosis can turn the palms out away from the body and do the asana. Later, as the arms and neck get toned, adopt the classic method.

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