A pose that is often credited for having a ‘natural feel about it,’ there is no denying that Upward-Facing-Dog is a feel-good pose for both the body and mind. Traditionally included as part of a Vinyasa flow, this pose will take you away from the intensity your chaturanga pushups and into the comfort of your down-dog with smooth ease. The pose itself also provides a range of benefits in both the physical and mental sense – so have a read about what Upward-facing-dog can do for you!
Improves neck and spine alignment
Opens through chest and throat
Strengthens the arms
Firms the legs and glutes
Helps to calm the mind
Provides relief for mild anxiety and depression
Prevents colds/flu/sore throat
Increases lung capacity
Incorrect palm placement (too wide/too narrow)
Not engaging through the legs/core when lifting legs away from the floor
Incorrect feet placement (toes curled under instead of flat to the mat)
Lie flat on the floor, belly down with the hands placed directly beneath the shoulders, palms flat to the mat
Ensure that the tops of the feet are flat to the mat and hip-width apart
On an inhale, press the palms into the mat and engage the core, straightening the arms to lift the torso away from the mat. Stay here, or engage the legs and core to lift the thighs and shins away from the floor.
Push the tailbone forward slightly, without engaging through the glutes.
Engage the shoulder blades and push them towards each other through the upper back. Ensure chest is proud and shoulders are back.
Start to move the chin upwards, taking the gaze up to open through the throat. Lengthen through the neck and avoid creasing the back of the neck.
Breathe normally and hold for 20 seconds. You may then flow back into your down-dog by curling under the toes and pushing the hips back, or you can release the pose by lowering the body and head back down to the ground on an exhale.
This pose is a really useful one for centring the mind and being present in your practice – so get onto your mat and start the flow 🙂
The PPHY team 🙂