Upward Facing Dog for Your Sun Salutation Sequence

Upward Facing Dog Pose

The upward facing dog pose is one of the many postures of the sun salutation sequence. You can also perform this healing pose independently.

About Upward Facing Dog Pose

Urdhva mukha svanasana represents the three root words of the pose. In Sanskrit, urdhva means "upward", mukha means "face", and svana stands for "dog".

This asana is sometimes confused with Cobra Pose. The big difference is that while both are reclining postures where the yogi is raised up on the arms, upward facing dog pose uses straight arms and lifts the belly from the floor. The cobra posture requires the practitioner to bend the elbows and keep the belly on the floor.

Step into the Pose

upward dog

Performing the Pose

  1. Lie on your stomach, arms at your sides.
  2. Open your palms and bend your elbows, keeping the arms close to the sides.
  3. On an inhale, straighten the arms and all at once, raise your torso and legs a few inches off the floor.
  4. Draw strength from the core of the body by firming but not tightening the lower body.
  5. Open the chest by drawing the shoulder blades down into the back.

For more instructions, visit Yoga Journal.

Beginner Modification

Bend at the small of the back, and don't go back so far as to put strain on the area. Also, don't scrunch the shoulders up to the ears.


Take caution if you are pregnant, have frequent headaches, or carpal tunnel syndrome.

Upward Facing Dog for Your Sun Salutation Sequence