Urdhva Mukha Shvanasana or Upward-Facing Dog

Urdhva Mukha Shvanasana or Upward-Facing Dog

Urdhva Mukha Shvanasana or Upward-Facing Dog

What's up, guys? today we are going to do Urdhva Mukha Shvanasana or the upward facing dog pose. Urdhva Mukha Shvanasana or Upward Facing Dog Pose is a back-bending asana in modern yoga as exercise. It is commonly part of the widely-performed Surya Namaskar sequence, though the similar Bhujangasana may be used there instead.

A few precautions if you suffer from carpal tunnel syndrome or you've had a back injury avoid doing this pose. If you have a headache don't practice today. If you're pregnant definitely avoid this pose.

 I'll break it down for you step by step so let's get started so we're going to start out with a gentle cobra pose bhujangasana on the floor. Come on to your stomach separate the feet bring them hip-width apart rest the forehead on the mat and bring the hand's underneath the shoulders, so you can have them a little outside the shoulders Press. The shoulders down into their sockets. Squeeze the elbows in inhale lift up drawing up from the belly button to the chest making sure you're not lifting your shoulders press down as you exhale come down. let's try that one more time, point the feet press the tops of the feet gently down towards the floor lift the kneecaps inhale and up exhale. 

Now let's focus on the legs and the upper body together. you're going to press down into the feet point the toes press the shoulders down. your back place the palms into the floor as you inhale lengthen through the stomach drawing up. If your neck feels good gently look up make sure you're not compressing the back of the head or hardening. your throat exhales and come down again stretch your arms out in front of you rest them for a while so head still on the mat feet still hip-width apart.

 Let's see what the legs are doing in this pose, inhale bring the right leg up really pointed exhale and out one more time inhale bring the left leg up really point lengthen from the hip all the way to the toe and out now, let's try doing that with the arms and the legs coming off together make sure you're not pressing or hurting into your lower back inhale and stretch up to look straight ahead going to feet press the shoulders into the sockets exhale and come down this time. let's hold the pose inhale and stretch up and gently relax bring your hands underneath your shoulders and slowly sit back in child's pose so the practice we did was to understand how to press the shoulders down and work through the legs extending the feet and pressing the tops of the feet gently into the mat while activating the legs.

 We're going to do one more pose to understand the strength in the arms so bring the hands directly underneath the shoulders press. The shoulders down make sure you're not hanging in there shoulder blades go into their sockets and down the back lift gently through the neck stretch, the right leg back pull the stomach gently in towards the spine as you exhale and stretch the left leg back and let's try and hold here for five counts one, two, three, four and five gently bring the knees down rest for a moment, so that was to understand the strength in the arms, the arms will be straight even though the arms are straight as we move forward shoulders don't come up. 

So I want to tell you what can happen which shouldn't happen. You don't want as you come up shoulders to rise along with you, you want to press the shoulders back so the main difference between the Cobra and the upward dog is that you're stretching forward and up the pelvis comes off the floor and the legs are off the floor, so to understand that if it feels difficult for you can have a rolled-up blanket or pillow place it under the thighs where your thighs might be lying down curl the toes under.

 Let's try this way in the beginning stretch yourself out the place the forehead on the mat bring the hands to your waist and the forearm the lower arm is perpendicular to the floor press. The shoulders back for now just lift up through the kneecap and the head and look up exhale relax inhale again just stretch up and relax.

So we're going to start moving forward and up and then turn the toes over and if you need that support of a blanket or pillow underneath your thighs to have it there look straight ahead make sure your shoulders are not rising up press them down, the back and make sure not compressing the lower back not hurting the lower back look gently up slowly relaxed, come down to the mat bring the hands up. So that was a feeling of what the legs feel like with maybe a rolled-up blanket or a pillow under you. You can adjust it wherever you like it could be in the middle of your thighs or just above your kneecaps and if you have difficulty pressing up through the arms maybe you can try with a yoga block or you can try some support under your hands. 

So you have this wherever you are going to have your hands the legs are hip-width. The path press now with your hands inhale form up the legs and press up try to pick the legs off the mat and then stretch the ribs gently forward pressing big toes and the tops of the feet down gently look up slowly bring the knees and your body down release and come back to Child's Pose for a moment. If you feel you're straining to come into this pose and it felt really difficult or if you felt a lot of pressure in your wrists or even in your lower back perhaps you're not ready for this pose yet and you need to strengthen your back muscles by doing bhujangasana.

The cobra pose and stringing your stomach your arms and your legs with plank poses so perhaps you practice these two poses and come back to it. If you're ready to try and move into the pose let's try it together so we start lying down go ahead on the mat legs hip-width apart hands flat on the floor fingers lightly spread close to your waist so there's going to be an upward and forward movement.

 Let's try doing this in an easy way by first curling the toes under and lifting up the thighs already a little bit from the mat inhale to lift the head press the shoulders down the back continue to move forward and then just turn the toes over pressing down into the tops of the feet make sure you're not sinking from the hips or rising through the shoulders press down and then gently lift your chin bringing the elbows the creases of the elbows to the front and gently come back. 

Now yourself sit back enjoy supposed to release your lower back take five to six deep breaths stay longer. If you need to let's try this one last time holding for about five breaths so when your hands are on the floor, you want to try and bring the elbow creases to the front press down through the shoulders and lift from the stomach all the way to the chest you're not making the lower back short or pressing forward or pulling from the forward ribs, if you do that you will put a lot of pressure on your lower back and you don't want that so let's try it one more time.

 So we lie down on our stomachs forehead on the mat and slap on the floor close to your waist feet hip-width apart press down into the tops of the feet inhale stretch uplifting the upper body and sliding forward without pressing the front ribs forward that will press your lower back into a very uncomfortable place so just lifting through the side ribs lifting up through the chin gently pressing down into your hands and turn the Front's of your elbows, the elbow creases in our elbows to the front press down into the tops of the feet stay for one more breath nice deep inhalation nice long exhalation press the shoulders down bring the knees down rest for a moment relax the wrist in the hand's underneath the shoulders and rest in Child's Pose. 

Rest for as long as you like five to six breaths or even longer so that was Urdhva Mukha shvanasana the upward facing dog pose it strengthens the wrists arms and the shoulders, as well as the back, helps stretch and relieve any tension in the spine it also strengthens the abdominal organs opens up the lungs and the heart help you to breathe better. It can relieve mild depression and help you feel less tired so remember to stay connected to yourself.


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