An international yoga instructor writes a healthy living blog with an emphasis on yoga.

Yoga Tip: Upward Facing Dog


Urdhva mukha svanasana, also known as upward facing dog, is a recurring asana in sun salutations and since we do it so often I thought it'd be helpful to give some tips about the posture.

How to do it:

1. Start on your stomach, legs straight behind you, tops of the feet resting on the mat. Hands planted into the mat by your armpits, elbows in tight to the body, forehead on the mat. Inhale. Exhale.

2.On your next inhale, push into the tops of the feet and the hands, pulling yourself slightly forward and up off the mat. Wrists, elbows and shoulders are in line with each other. Draw the shoulder blades toward each other so the collar bones are broad. Legs are engaged, buttocks is firm. Head slightly back. Breathe deeply here.

3. To come out, you can either roll over the toes into downward dog, or lower yourself gently to the mat.

Tip: Only your hands and tops of the feet are on the mat in the pose.

Benefits: Stretches the chest, lungs and abs. Strengthens wrists, arms and shoulders. Firms the buttocks and stimulates the abs.