Urdhva Mukha Svanasana: March Yoga Pose of the Month


Strengthens arms, wrists, core, spine and thighs.  Opens chest and shoulders while improving posture.

Upward-Facing Dog Pose (Sanskrit: Urdhva Mukha Svanasana)

  • Begin lying down on mat (face down). Legs are lengthened behind with inner thighs spiraling so all ten toes and top of feet are planted in mat.
  • Place palms into mat between shoulders and waist with elbows back. Roll shoulders down the back and engage abdominals by drawing navel in towards spine.  Open chest, broaden collar bone and lengthen the spine.  Inhale and on exhale, press into palms and lift body away from the mat without sinking into low back.  Palms are planted equally and arms are engaged.
  • Press into top of the feet and engage legs. Legs are lifted away from mat and gaze is forward while chest is open.  Stay in pose for 2-3 breaths.  Release by lowering slowing to the floor and move into Child’s Pose to release the lower back.
  • Note: Traditionally this pose is part of the full Sun Salutation series and is approached after a Chaturanga Dandasana.  If performing a modified Sun Salutation, Cobra is the pose performed.

Namaste – The light within me honors the grace and wisdom within you.


About Author

Celeste Cooper-Peel, MA, MCHES, E-RYT, CWHC, CYT

Wellness Manager

Celeste has been in the science, health and wellness field over twenty years. As a chemist, she conducted research which brought her into the mindset of proactive wellness and prevention. After receiving her Masters in Health Education from East Carolina University, she ventured into the mind/body world receiving training in Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction and Yoga. Shortly after, she received the 2003 Wellness in the Workplace Award for a large health system in the state of Virginia. In 2004, Celeste joined SAS Institute, Inc. and continues to be passionate about all things wellness. She enjoys collaborating with team members, teaching, presenting and nurturing healthy lifestyle changes. She believes that every day is a learning opportunity and creates opportunities that reflect active learning, being curious and forward thinking. Celeste is a published author, the wife of a fun-loving husband, mother of a college freshman, "professional" front porch meditator and loves to play in the dirt . She is a nationally Master Certified Health Education Specialist (MCHES), an Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher (E-RYT) with the National Yoga Alliance, Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) Instructor, Certified Wellness and Health Coach (CWHC), Certified Yin-Yang Yoga and Mindfulness Meditation Instructor and Certified Yoga Therapist (CYT). She has also received advanced certificates in Integrative and Functional Nutrition and additional trainings with The Institute for Functional Medicine. Follow @ccooperpeel on Twitter and Instagram.

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