Upward Facing Dog

Level: Beginner

Sanskrit: Urdhva Mukha Svanasana

Benefits:

  • Strengthens the back muscles, arms and wrists.

  • Stretches the chest, shoulders and abdomen.

  • Improves posture.

  • Helps to increase lung capacity.

  • Helps prepare the body and spine for other back-bending postures such as floor bow pose, wheel pose, camel pose and dancer's pose.

Tips:

  • Keep a neutral neck - gaze directly ahead, lengthening the neck and extending the crown of the head directly up toward the ceiling (while it may look pretty to lift the chin, gaze up and extend the head back, repetitively overextending the neck in this way may lead to injury over time, or may lead to acute injury if you "throw" your head back).

  • Move the chest forward and press the ground away with your palms. Avoid shrugging the shoulders up to the ears.

  • Engage the legs, glutes and squeeze the inner thighs together.

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