This delightfully energizing back bend brings so many benefits to the body and mind. Personally, when I come into Upward Dog during my sun salutations, I feel a lovely release of tension in the lower back. Follow the step by step instructions below and give it a try!
How to do Upward Facing Dog-
Lye prone on your mat (belly down)
Press the tops of your feet down and with bent elbows, press your hands into the mat, relatively close to your waist.
Push into your hands and straighten your arms lifting your upper body, pubic bone and legs off of the mat.
The only points of contact with the mat should now be the hands and the tops of the feet.
Keep the legs strong and the thighs engaged. Your legs should be a few inches from the mat.
Keep the arms strong and externally rotated, so that the elbow creases face forwards.
Press down through the tailbone and towards the pubic bone, and pull up from the pubic bone to the naval area. Try not to clench your buttocks.
Draw the shoulder blades down the back, opening the chest and gently pushing the heart space forwards.
You can drop the head back slightly, if it feels OK for your neck, or look straight ahead.
Hold the posture for between 30 second and 1 minute (or for 5 long breaths).
This gentle back bend releases tension in the spine and improves posture.
Stretches the muscles on the front of the body – the chest, lungs and abdomen.
Strengthens the muscles on the back of the body- the buttocks, legs, back and shoulders, as well as the arms and wrists.
This is an energizing posture, which helps to eliminate fatigue.
Avoid practicing this posture if you are pregnant, have carpal tunnel syndrome (or any problems with your wrists), a back injury or a headache.
Upward Facing Dog is part of the Sun Salutations, and is sequenced after Plank Pose and before Downward Facing Dog.