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How to Do Upward Facing Dog (Urdhva Mukha Svanasana) in Yoga

Learn the upward facing dog from certified yoga instructor Chelsey Korus in this Howcast video.

Transcript

Urdhva mukha svanasana, upward facing dog.

I'll start in a downward facing dog, take you through plank, lower down chaturanga dandasana, and then come into upward facing dog and I'll hit all the little places in between. Okay?

So, adho mukha, downward facing dog begins to come here. And then you're going to peel forward into your high plank pose. Exhale to lower you down chaturanga and then lean into one foot. Set a foot onto the floor. Point for the ankle, but spread the toes so you use the thigh bones. And the thigh bones will lift away from the floor.

Next, I'm going to take my heart forward. Wrap the shoulder blades back. And arms can be itty bitty bend. A little bend in the elbows so you can transfer softness into the heart to come out one toe or both toes. It doesn't matter. One's not cheating. It's just your preference. And then back through downward facing dog. So that's the overall movement. Now let's talk about some specifics.

Okay? So, as you come to high plank pose, I want you to think about melting between your shoulder blades. So you can see right now that my shoulder blades are on my sides. What I want to be able to find is that my shoulder blades come closer together, but my belly has to suck in like crazy in order to keep it from not doing that. Right? So I'm going to melt the shoulder blades separate from my belly. So my belly is going to reach in. As I lower down, I'm just continuing to melt those shoulder blades closer and closer together. And then as I come forward for upward facing dog, my shoulders blades just stay where they are. And I roll back to downward facing dog.

So I literally think about my shoulder blades being those two little hands assisting down and then helping lift up here. And then taking back in a downward facing dog. So it might be a little helpful tip for you for urdhva mukha svanasana, upward facing dog.

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