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Up Dog



Foot to Hip : feet around hip width. front of feet pointed and pressing down, knees extended, thighs lifted, legs strong, hips extended.
Spine : fully extended. abdominals support the lumbar. find length and lift in the back bend. upper back engaged. neck long, neutral or extended back.
Shoulder to Hand : shoulders depressed and retracted (drawn down and back). arms strong, elbows extended, forearms pronated, hands active pressing down.


Urdhva Mukha Svanasana is translated; ('Urdhva' - upward, 'Mukha' - face, 'Svana' - dog, 'Asana' - 'pose') and resembles a dog stretching, face raised upward. This pose opens the whole front line of the body whilst strengthening the back body, legs and arms.

Downdog is Part of the Sun Salutation or Vinyasa sequence. Milder backbends can be used to prepare; such as low cobra or locust. Great after working the abdominals / hip flexors / quads. Stretch the back body for balance i.e Childs or lengthen out in Down Dog.


Foot to Hip : foot flexed vs pointed.
Spine : roll into vs dive. twist / gaze over shoulder.
Shoulder to Hand : play with hand rotation. elevate/depress shoulders.


- Come off the hands in low cobra/ locust or use the forearms to support in sphinx.
- Lessen the backbend in cobra/sphinx/seal.
- Blanket under the hips to cushion bones if needed.
- Instead of lying on front come to kneeling Cat Pose instead.


Single leg - more intense on the supporting side.
Enter from 4 Limbed Staff Pose (Chaturanga).

Up Dog
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