Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Keep Your Head Up

Upward Facing Dog- Urdhva Mukha Svanasana

(OORD-vah MOO-kah shvon-AHS-anna)
urdhva mukha = face upward (urdhva = upward
mukha = face)
svana = dog

I sit more than I would like to throughout the day.  I feel like I am constantly in a seated posture therefore whenever, I get the chance I like to open up in the opposite direction.  For that I turn to Upward Facing Dog.   It just feels good to peel your body up off the floor and open the chest, while given that back a really nice deep stretch.  

Upward Facing Dog will help with a stiff back, sciatica or even slipped or prolapsed discs.  Upward Dog strengthens the spine and helps prevent backache.  In this pose you open the chest improving your deep breathing and allowing the lungs to expand.  Up Dog improves overall posture, strengthens the spine, arms, wrists, tightens the buttocks and is therapeutic for asthma.

Up Dog is cautioned for those who are pregnant, suffer from carpal tunnel or maybe suffering from a headache.

Step by Step

  1.  Lie down on the floor with your belly face down.  Place the tops of your feet on the floor.  Place your hands below the shoulders palms spread the fingers nice and wide.  Elbows hug into your side.  
  2. Inhale and lift your head and chest until your arms are straight.  Lift your thighs off the mat as well as your press firmly through your palms and fingers.  
  3. Press your tailbone towards the floor and keep the bottom firm but not tight.  
  4. Reach the chest up towards the ceiling while keep the shoulder blades firmly back.  
  5. Hold Upward Facing Dog for 15-30 seconds breathing easily.  
  6. Lower back down to the mat slowly as you exhale.  You can push back into child's pose to counter your stretch.  
  7. Repeat when your ready and increase the amount of time or breaths in your Upward Facing Dog. 
Combat stiffness with Upward Facing Dog.  You'll be glad you did! 


  1. This is a great tidbit to keep us physically and emotionally well during the winter! I could definitely use a little more yoga in my life. Are you going to do any mini videos with quick routines for us to do? That would be awesome!

  2. Great tip!! I am working on that now!!!