Monday, January 4, 2010

Urdva Mukha Svasana

Upward Dog Pose

Last week we had a chance to learn another interesting pose namely "Adho Mukha Svasana", also known as Downward  Dog pose. On the same lines of the stretches that dog an animal do we would also do another pose today named as "Urdhva Mukha Svasana".

"Urdhva Mukha" means Upward Facing while "Svasana" means Dog pose in Sanskrit. Thus the name "Urdhva Mukha Svasana" or Upward Facing Dog.

How to do this pose?

  1. Lie on your abdomen flat on the yoga mat.  Keep both the legs straight and mind that they are a feet apart from each other. Keep your hands just aside your body on the side without touching the body.
  2. To start the pose keep your palms rested on the floor near your hips. Palms open, fingers spread.
  3. Inhale in and then pressing firmly on the ground by your palms slowly starts lifting your upper trunk. Your head up in the air, your whole body currently rest on your both palms and the toes.
  4. No bends at your elbows, thus both the arms are straight and stretched as much as possible. Make sure your head is stretched too.
  5. The whole weight of your body in this pose lies completely on your palms and your toes. Try not to bend the knees and give the support. One can also tighten the buttock for extra result.
  6. Breathe in and out and hold the pose for some time. 


  1. The asana resembles a lot like Bhujangasana or Cobra pose, thus all the cautions are similar like that pose.
  2. It is very important to keep both the arms straight and the legs straight too. Try not bending the knee joints at all.
  3. The head in this pose tilts a little backward and should be in that way.
  4. Those have health issues related to spine and neck should be aware to do this pose with expert guidance.


  • Rejuvenate the spine and the muscles around it.
  • A really helpful pose for those who suffer with sciatica, back pain slipped disc and other lower back pain.
  • Stimulates the internal abdominal organ
  • Due to chest expansion the lungs do gain elasticity, which is much helpful from those suffering with asthma and other lung diseases.

Chakra Effect :

 Its known work is one the Manipur chakra or the solar plexus

Difference between Bhujanagasana and Urdva Mukha Svasana ?

It is always a though that would come to your mind what would be the difference between Bhujanagasana or Cobra pose and this pose. Both look very much similar, here are few differences.

  • In this pose the knees and thighs are not touching the ground , one is completely supported by the palms and the toes. While in Cobra one rests on complete leg completely.
  • In cobra it is OK to keep the elbow joint bent , rather for a beginner that is advisable, while in this pose both the arms need to be stretched to its full length.
Posted by Sudeep

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    4 comments: on "Urdva Mukha Svasana"

    Ralph said...

    Ok. I'm going to try this one if it helps the lower back. What distinguishes it from the Cobra?

    Sudeep Chitnis said...

    Hey Ralph,
    I have written down the difference between that pose and Cobra pose in the blog . Please read the post.

    Anonymous said...

    Amiable post and this enter helped me alot in my college assignement. Thank you for your information.

    Sudeep Chitnis said...

    I am glad that this post can help you in some way. Keep reading on reading

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