The Yoga Addiction

41: Pose Breakdown: Upward Facing Dog / Urdhva Mukha Svanasana

The Yoga Addiction
41: Pose Breakdown: Upward Facing Dog / Urdhva Mukha Svanasana

Upward facing dog is an integral pose for any vinyasa practice. It's a challenging backbend that requires whole-body strength. And because this pose is rarely held for more than one breath, the cueing into and out of the shape can lack the details that are necessary to keep our wrists and ankles feeling strong. It also requires a whole heck of a lot of core strength to not 'dump' into the lower back. Shoulder, chest, upper back, abdominals, quadriceps, ankle dorsi-flexors, even the many muscles of the foot must be working in symphony to be able to master this pose and not get worn out with repetition. This week we break it all down for you ;)




  • What is Upward Facing Dog? (5:47)
  • What is the general alignment for Upward Facing Dog? (6:41)
  • Transition: Chatturunga to Updog (8:01)
  • The wrist position in Updog as it relates to the shoulders (17:03)
  • The "worst" Updogs we've seen: ankles and backbend (24:58)
  • Common cues for neck position in Updog (30:34)
  • The cue, "push down through the tops of your feet and pull your feet forward" for ankle stability (34:09)
  • How poor ankle mobility people sucks for Updog (37:57)
  • Preparing for Updog with twists, forward bends or other movements (40:45)
  • Low back pain when it comes to Updog and yoga in general (45:23)
  • Forward bends when it comes to low back pain (51:51)




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Brought to you by Natalie Senger and Sandy Huen of The Yoga Addiction