Yoga Asanas

Urdhva Mukha Svanasana - Upward-Facing Dog Pose

Posted on 2019-02-27

Urdhva mukha svanasana is from Sanskriti language which means an upward-facing dog pose. You should not confuse this pose with a cobra pose though they both seem similar. The upward facing dog pose resembles a stretching dog. The posture will help you stretch your chest, back, arms and legs giving you instant relief from exhaustion or fatigue.

The next time you're feeling under the weather, try the upward facing dog pose for an instant energy boost. It's more effective than an energy booster and works faster than any calming food.  It is one of the sun salutations in yoga asana. Though it's under the intermediate category, a beginner can also try it out.

There are many benefits to the body after performing this asana. One of them is the increased body strength, toned muscles and lessened depression.

Step by Step Guide for Urdhva Mukha Svanasana

  1. Start by lying flat on your belly with arms straight beside you. The feet must also face downwards.

  2. Bend your elbows and fold them back towards your ribs.

  3. Press your palms firmly on the ground then lift your knees followed by your hips and upper body. The lifted weight should distribute and balance over the spread palms and feet.

  4. The wrists and shoulders should remain parallel as you lift the head slightly to look in front of you. Take care not to hurt your neck muscles by overstraining.

  5. Take a few minutes in this position before exhaling and repositioning.

    Main Health Benefits of Urdhva Mukha Svanasana

    1. Healthy Respiratory System: The expanded chest area gives way to a large diaphragm and lungs that can hold a more substantial amount of oxygen. The result is a better breathing system that eliminates respiratory diseases such as asthma.

    2. Increased Blood Circulation: Stretching from head to toe results to an improved blood circulation that helps the internal organs to function better. The effect is reduced sciatica and fatigue.

    3. Strong Shoulders: Urdhva Mukha Svanasana balances most of the weight on the shoulders leading to stronger shoulder muscles.

    4. Well-toned muscles: During the pose, the thighs, stomach, and hamstring stay hanging in the air. The position strengthens and tones the affected muscles.

    5. Eliminates Back Pain: During Urdhva Mukha Svanasana, the lower back remains closer to the floor. The tightening that results eliminates any lower back pain or strain.

    Precautions Before Urdhva Mukha Svanasana

    The position requires a distributed balance of weight on your palms and shoulders. If you have a shoulder injury, back injury or sprained wrists, it’s best to stay away from this pose.

    Pregnant women shouldn’t attempt the position without a directive from a physician.


    Urdhva Mukha Svanasana is one skill that you can learn from the animal kingdom. The asana offers instant strengthening of muscles, spine, and shoulders moreover it gives you a clear mind.

    The pose is beneficial for seasoned yoga practitioners as well as beginners. If you want immediate yoga asana benefits for your body, start with the upward facing dog pose.

    Where to Start 

    With one of our free online yoga videos, Ashtanga Fundamentals or Yoga for beginners

    Previous Urdhva Hastasana - Upward Salute
    Next The Many Variations of Hot Yoga: Which is Right for You?

    Comment / read all comments