ANATOMY OF YOGA: UPWARD FACING DOG
When done correctly, Upward Facing Dog, or Urdhva Mukha Svanasana, is completely invigorating. It also opens the chest, strengthens the arms, and can improve your posture. However, while moving through Upward Facing Dog, your wrists and lower back are at wrist for injury. Take a look at the anatomy of Up Dog, so you have a clear idea of how to avoid injury.
Here’s how to do it:
Start by lying with your belly on the floor, lengthening the legs back and behind you, with the tops of the feet pressing into the floor. Place a slight bend the elbow (to protect your elbow joint) and spread the palms onto the floor near your waist. As you inhale, press down and slightly back through all four corners of your hands. Lift the torso, keeping the shoulders in line with the wrists. Shoulders track over elbows over wrists. You should now be lifting the upper torso up, broadening the chest, and the thighs should be a couple inches off of the floor as you press firmly through the tops of your toes.. Keep those thighs engaged and turned slightly inward, while your arms remain firm. Keep your gaze at something in front of you, lengthening the neck. Breathe easily for 15-30 seconds before releasing back to the floor.
Upward Facing Dog is a pose that is used often in vinyasa yoga classes, so yogis tend to spend a lot of time in it. We hope this post has been helpful to your own practice. What’s your favorite yoga pose? Let us know in the comments, and you might see it in a future anatomy of yoga post.
*Please note these instructions are very basic guides. If you are new to yoga, please find a local studio near you and take a couple of classes before attempting to practice alone. We cannot be held responsible for an injury caused by following these instructions.