Upward-Facing Dog Yoga Pose Benefits
Yoga is a practice that promotes health and stability, both for your body and mind. and the upward dog pose is one of the poses that exemplifies this.
Within the ancestral discipline of yoga, there are different poses or ‘asanas,’ and each of them provide a different benefit. In this article, we will tell you about the upward-facing dog yoga pose, one of the most basic poses with the most advantages.
What does the upward-facing dog yoga pose look like?
Its name in Sanskrit is Urdhva Mukha Svanasana, but we know it by its English name: Upward-Facing Dog. It is one of the most common asanas within the practice of yoga and the main objective is to stretch the entire back of the body: neck, back, hips, buttocks, and even the legs. It also serves to rest the abdomen and head.
In order to do the upward-facing dog yoga pose, you should lie down on the mat and stretch your legs out while resting your abdomen on the mat. Then, place the palms of your hands at chest level and stretch your arms out completely.
This way, your back will bend backwards and your abdomen and pelvis will separate from the mat. Do not forget to keep your head straight, with your eyes looking forward and your shoulders relaxed.
At all times, your legs should remain stretched with your feet pointed down; throughout the activity, your toes will be exerting the most pressure against the ground.
Push up a little with your hands and feet so that your body (except for those two parts) is suspended in the air. Pay attention not to hyperextend your elbows -which should not be sticking out- because that can generate pain. Spread out your fingers to help support your weight as much as possible.
Take a deep breath when you take off from the floor. When you breathe out, arch your back a little more in order to stretch your lower back. Hold for a few seconds and descend.
What are the benefits of the upward-facing dog yoga pose?
This asana has several benefits, including improving blood circulation, strengthening the arms and back, stretching the spine, helping to maintain a correct posture, and activating the muscles of the buttocks and hips.
This position also stimulates the abdominal organs, energizes the body (it gives you a lot of energy, which is why it is recommended when you feel tired) and prevents contraction of the neck, which is so common nowadays.
The two other dog positions in Yoga
In addition to the upward-facing dog yoga pose, there are also two other asanas related to this animal. And the best part is that you can combine them to achieve better results!
The downward-facing dog pose is another of the most common in the practice of this discipline; its name in Sanskrit is Adho Mukha Svanasana and it is done as follows:
First, get down on the mat on all fours, with your back straight, your hands resting on the floor in line with your shoulders, and your knees on the mat forming an imaginary line with your hips.
Lift your knees while you stretch your legs and lift your hips up as far as you can. The soles of your feet and the palms of your hands should be the only things in contact with the floor. Put your head between your shoulders and look at your navel. The idea is for you to form an inverted V with your body and for your back to stretch completely.
The other dog pose (Eka Pada Adho Mukha Svanasana or three-legged dog) is similar to the previous one but a little harder. Once you raise your hips and find your balance, raise your right leg and stretch it as if you want to touch the roof with the tip of your foot. After a few seconds, slowly bring it back down and repeat with your left leg.