Urdhva Mukha Svanasana (Upward-Facing Dog Pose) – Alignment, Benefits & Cautions

Urdhva Mukha Svanasana is also known as Upward-Facing Dog Pose. This posture is very beneficial for improving your posture and removing back pain. Today we discuss with you the steps, benefits, and cautions of this pose:

  1. Lay on your mat (belly side)
  2. Keep your legs hip-wide apart
  3. Place your hands next to your shoulder
  4. Press your palms onto your mat and keep your fingers spread
  5. Lift your upper body up and lookup
  6. Your spine should be curved, your chest open
  7. Roll your shoulders back
  8. Your thighs should lift off the mat as well
  9. Keep the feet on the mat

Benefits of Urdhva Mukha Svanasana:

  • Improves posture
  • Reduces kyphosis
  • Stimulates abdominal organs
  • Tones the spine
  • Relives depression, fatigue, and anxiety


This asana should not be practiced by people suffering from cervical spondylitis, slipped disc, high blood pressure, or by pregnant women.

Further Notes:

Upward-Facing Dog should be practiced post your regular warm-up. In traditional hatha yoga, this warm-up is called Pawanmuktasana or Energy Releasing Postures. Through a gentle warm-up for your main joints, muscles, and tendons, you can be sure to continue your practice in a healthy and prepared way! The lack of a warm-up often leads to serious injuries over time and cartilage depletion which can cause arthritis.