On the Mat: Upward Facing Dog

Upward facing dog (urdhva mukha svanasana) completes the Vinyasa flow and opens up the front side body.  After the engagement of plank and chatarunga, it usually feels great!

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Things to keep in mind for upward facing dog:

1. As mentioned in chatarunga, you want to move into up dog when your upper arms are parallel to the mat.  If you have dropped too low, it can be too much intensity on your shoulders over time.

2.  This pose can sometimes pinch the low back.  If this happens, think of engaging your quads, squeezing your glutes, and lifting out of your low back so the whole spine is engaged in a gentle backward bend.

3.  If you need something gentler, you can always or take a low cobra position, where chest and maybe some ribs will lift off the mat, but elbows stay bent.

4.  From here, transition back to downward facing dog by tucking toes and using ab strength.  Then flow all over again!

Live in the NYC area and want to flow together?  Check out our first karma yoga class happening next Tuesday!

Be well.