Upward Facing Dog is an intense backbend—an advanced variation of Cobra pose—that you find in Sun Salutations A and B. It strengthens the wrists and shoulders, stretches the abs and hip flexors and improves flexibility in the spine. It is one of the poses in a sequence known in Sanskrit as a vinyāsa in which you transition from Plank to Chaturanga, then from Up Dog to Down Dog. This is an advanced sequence that can be very risky for the stability of your shoulders if you’re not able to maintain proper form.
UPWARD FACING DOG BENEFITS
- Strengthens the hands, wrists, shoulders, thighs and glutes.
- Stretches the hip flexors, abs and chest.
- Improves spinal mobility.
Upward Facing Dog is identical to Cobra pose except that you straighten your arms and lift your thighs up off the mat.
Press down into your hands, broaden across your collarbones, draw your shoulders away from your ears, lengthen your neck and look straight ahead. Try to find a balanced and even curve throughout your spine.
- Avoid this pose if you have a foot, ankle, wrist, hip, lower back or shoulder injury.