(Last Updated on : 10/06/2014)
Urdhva Mukha Svanasana is a cultural yoga asana that mimics the distinct posture of a dog looking upward. It is efficacious in toning the muscles of the body and is also part of the surya namaskar or sun salutation sequence popular in the yoga tradition.
Meaning of Urdhva Mukha Svanasana
Urdhva refers to upward, Mukha to face, and Svana to dog. The posture resembles a dog straining upward.
Practice Urdhva Mukha Svanasana
* Lie prone on the floor. Stretch the legs back, with the tops of the feet on the floor.
* Bend the elbows and spread the palms on the floor beside the waist so that the forearms are relatively perpendicular to the floor.
* Inhale and press the inner hands firmly into the floor and slightly back, as if one were trying to push forward along the floor.
* Straighten the arms and simultaneously lift the torso up and the legs a few inches off the floor on an inhalation.
* Keep the thighs firm and slightly turned inward, the arms firm and turned out so the elbow creases face forward.
* Press the tailbone toward the pubis and lift the pubis toward the navel. Narrow the hip points. Firm but don't harden the buttocks.
* Firm the shoulder blades against the back and puff the side ribs forward. Lift through the top of the sternum but avoid pushing the front ribs forward, which only hardens the lower back.
* Look straight ahead or tip the head back slightly, but take care not to compress the back of the neck and harden the throat.
Urdhva Mukha Svanasana is one of the positions in the traditional Sun Salutation sequence. One can also practice this pose individually, holding it anywhere from 15 to 30 seconds, breathing easily. Release back to the floor or lift into Adho Mukha Svanasana with an exhalation.
Often it is difficult to keep the legs strongly suspended above the floor. Before one moves into the pose, position a thick blanket roll below the top thighs. When one is in the pose, lightly rest the thighs on this roll as one presses the tailbone closer to the roll.
Effects of Urdhva Mukha Svanasana
* The body stretch improves posture.
* The spine, arms, and wrists are strengthened thoroughly.
* Stretches chest and lungs, shoulders, and abdomen.
* Firms the buttocks.
* Stimulates abdominal organs.
* Helps relieve mild depression, fatigue, and sciatica.
Precautions in the practice of Urdhva Mukha Svanasana
* Do not practice this asanas if suffering from back injury, carpal tunnel syndrome, Headache and pegnancy.