Urdhva = Upward, Mukha = Face, Svana = Dog, Asana = Pose

Pronounced as OORD-vah-MOO-kah-shvah-NAS-anna

Urdhva Mukha Svanasana is a back-bending yoga posture that strengthens the arms, wrists and spine. It also stretches the back and relieves the body of lower back ache.

How to do Urdhva Mukha Svanasana

  • Lie flat on your belly with the top of your feet facing downwards. Your arms should be stretched down the length of the body.
  • Bend your elbows and spread your palms beside the lowest rib.
  • As you inhale, press your palms firmly on the mat and slowly lift your torso, hips and knees off the mat. The entire weight of the body should be resting on the palms and top of the feet.
  • You may look straight ahead or tilt your head slightly backwards.
  • Ensure that your wrists are in line with your shoulders and the neck is not strained.
  • Stay in this pose for a couple of breaths.
  • As you exhale, slowly lower your knees, hips and torso back on the mat.

Benefits of Urdhva Mukha Svanasana

  • Stretches and strengthens the back, thus relieving the body of lower back ache.
  • Most of the body weight is borne by the arms and wrists, thus strengthening them.
  • This yoga pose helps improve the body posture and also stimulates the abdominal organs.


Avoid doing this posture if you suffer from Carpel Tunnel Syndrome or a back injury that is aggravated due to extension. Pregnant women should also refrain from doing this asana.

Follow up poses

Urdhva Mukha Svanasana can be followed up with Adho Mukha Svanasana


All Yoga Poses
Previous yoga pose: Shalabhasana
Next yoga pose: Vasisthasana

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