Urdhva mukha svana asana (updog)

Approaching the asana

  • Lie on your stomach with the forehead down on the floor (pronation ) with the hands underneath your shoulders for beginners, or besides your chest for intermediates, and eventually by the sides of your waist
  • Draw the front top of your upper arms and the outer collar bones strongly upward away from the floor so that your upper arms become reasonably parallel to the floor as well as to each other.
  • Your feet are kept hip-width apart. The outer thigh energy should be flowing down towards the mat so that the little toe area is reasonably grounded.
  • As you inhale, lengthen the back of your arms down towards the elbows and then towards the wrist; simultaneously pulling up through the front arms and inner arms pits
  • Tilting the front pelvis upward and continuing to press down through the back arms, straighten the arms, lift the shins, knees, thighs and pelvis off the floor.
  • If you feel that you can arch more but you’re limited by short arms in proportion to the upper body, then use two blocks under the wrists.
  • Focus on linear flow of energy as you lift the sternum away from the navel.
  • Focus on lateral broadening flow of energy as you broaden the collar bones
  • Focus on spiralling energy by rotating the inner arms out, and outer thighs down
  • Drawing the sides of the chest and the top of the sternum into you, gently lower the head backward, provided you have no neck injuries.
  • Work on the combined effort and intelligence of pelvis, lumbar spine and the shoulder girdle so that the sternum aligns on a vertical plane with the floor.
  • Focus on good long inhalations to complement the physical efforts
  • Remember to keep the face and eyes soft.