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How to Do the Upward Facing Dog Pose

Seals, sea lions, and walruses do this pose all the time. But nobody wants to imitate a blubbery sea mammal, so Upward Facing Dog it is.


  • Step 1: Lie on stomach Lie on your stomach with your legs stretched straight out behind you, and the tops of your feet pressed against the mat.
  • Step 2: Place hands on waist Bend your arms at the elbow and place your hands, palms down, on each side of your waist, fingers spread. Your forearms should be perpendicular to the mat.
  • Step 3: Lift torso Inhale and press firmly off the mat, straightening your arms and lifting your torso and head upright, expanding your chest. Your knees and thighs should raise a few inches off the mat.
  • TIP: The insides of your elbow should be facing forward and your wrists should be aligned directly under your shoulders.
  • Step 4: Lift chest Round your tailbone down and forward, rotating your pelvis forward and up toward your navel, lifing up your chest even higher through the top of your sternum.
  • TIP: Keeping your neck aligned over your spine, point your chin forward to deepen the stretch in your lower back.
  • Step 5: Hold pose Hold the pose for several steady, even breaths.
  • Step 6: Release pose Release the pose on an exhale by lowering yourself back to the mat. You’re an animal!
  • FACT: Yoga for dogs—or 'doga'—became a popular activity for stressed-out New York City canines in 2003.

You Will Need

  • Comfortable clothing suitable for stretching and moving
  • A calm place where you won't be distracted or disturbed
  • A yoga mat or folded blanket

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