How to do Urdhva Mukha Svanasana Yoga Pose: Its Benefits

There are different types of yoga poses and yoga styles, which are beneficial for various diseases, and other problems of the body and mind. Yoga asanas include simple ones that are easy to do at home, without any guidance from experienced teachers. All you have to do is to read the step by step instructions given and follow them properly. But when you do more advanced forms, you need a qualified yoga teacher to guide you. Otherwise you may do the wrong movements and this may harm your body instead of benefiting it.

Urdhva Mukha Svanasana Yoga

Image credits: yogatrail

Practicing yoga is an excellent way to remain healthy and fit. Yoga is not just a set of exercises and asanas. It has much more to it. In yoga you do warm up exercises, asanas, pranayama and meditation as well. Meditation is the deep relaxation technique, which makes your body and mind relax completely. You get a feeling of tranquility by doing meditation.

Urdhva Mukha Svanasana is one of the yoga asanas that is ideal for those who are new to yoga. So it is often described as the beginner’s pose. Urdhva Mukha svanasana is also known as upward facing dog pose as well as backbend pose. Urdhva in Sanskri means ‘up’ and mukha means ‘face’. Svana means ‘dog’ in Sanskrit language. Asana means ‘pose’. This asana is very similar to Bhujangasana. It is an easy yoga asana and you can practice it on your own by following the instructions given.

How to do Urdhva Mukha Svanasana or Upward Facing Dog Pose: Steps

  1. Lie on the floor in such a way that your belly touches the floor. Stretch your legs back, so that the top of your feet touch the floor.
  2. Now you have to bend your elbows and place your hands on either side of your lower ribs. Let the palms of your hand face downwards and rest on the ground.
  3. Take in a deep breath. When you perform this asana, do not forget to breathe in and out.
  4. In the next step try to lift your torso off the floor by pressing your palms on the floor and straightening your arms. Make sure that your upper back, lower back and the thighs are lifted from the floor. The upper part of your feet and your toes must touch the ground. So, in this pose your whole weight is put on your palms and the top of your feet.
  5. Stretch your body as much as it is possible for you. But do not overdo it. Keep it within your capacity.
  6. Your hands must be kept straight. Remember not to bend it at the elbows.
  7. Look ahead straight in front of you. Now close your eyes.
  8. Your wrists must be in line with your shoulders. Make sure that you do not strain your neck.
  9. Start counting your breath.
  10. You can remain in this pose for 30 seconds to 1 minute.
  11. Repeat this asana 10 times.

Tip to Remember:

When you do this asana for the first time, it may be not very easy for you to lift your body from the thighs and hips and balance your body well. So, when you begin this asana, you may put two folded blankets under your belly or chest and thus balance your body. After performing the asana for a few times you will learn to balance your body perfectly. Then you need not use any blankets or other supports for doing this asana.


If you have pain in your lower back, do not focus on bending your back as it can harm your back and cause more problems. Instead you can focus on lengthening your spine.


As you are aware, all yoga asanas have some cautions or contraindications to follow. Urdhva Mukha Svanasana too has some contradictions. If you are suffering from any injuries of the back, this asana is not for you. It can make more complications for your back. Pregnant women are also advised not to do this asana. People who have undergone a surgery of the wrist and those who have nay wrist injuries must refrain from doing this yoga asana. People with CTS or Carpel Tunnel Syndrome are advised not to attempt this pose. Similarly, those with slipped disc issues or any chronic back problems are not allowed to do Urdhva Mukha Svanasana. This is also not recommended for those suffering from headache. If you have any medical problems, you must take the advice of a doctor or a qualified yoga guru before you attempt this yoga pose. They will guide you and find a perfect solution for your problem.

Benefits of Urdhva Mukha Svanasana:

  • If you are not very satisfied with your posture, you can make your posture better by doing this pose regularly.
  • Doing this asana daily helps in making your shoulders, arms, spine, thighs and wrists more strong.
  • By doing this asana, you can give a good stretch to your upper and lower back.
  • If you want to give a good stretch to your abdomen and chest, doing this asana is the best way.
  • Urdhva Mukha Svanasana is also good for toning your abdominal muscles and getting it into proper shape.
  • You can make your buttocks firm if you practice this yoga asana daily.
  • People suffering from any sorts of depression and those suffering from fatigue benefit a lot by doing this asana.
  • If you have sciatica pain, do this pose regularly and soon your will get relief.

Urdhva Mukha Svanasana is also one of the postures that you do when you practice Sun Salutation. So, with a variety of benefits, Urdhva Muha Svanasana is an excellent yoga asna and you must try it at home. You will be benefited a lot by doing this regularly.

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