Urdhva Mukha Svanasana

This pose means a “dog” holding the head upwards or high and yawning.
Benefits:
  • Strengthening of the upper limbs, expands the chest cavity
  • Leads to the reduction of simple backache (lumbar region)
  • Leads to an increase in flexibility of the vertebrae and the relative muscles
  • Leads to a reduction of sciatica pain
  • Stimulates muscle strength and body resilience
Restrictions:
  • Disc disorders and sciatica
  • Wrist discomforts
Muscles active in the Urdha Mukha Svanasana movements:
  • The triceps straighten the elbows
  • The posterior deltoid muscles pulls the shoulders back and helps the chest to expand
  • The Infraspinatus and the Teres minor of the shoulders is pulled downwards and towards the back
  • A part of the lower major pectoralis raises the chest upwards
  • The spine erector creates a curvature behind the trunk
  • The gluteus muscles with the help of the ptosis and the abdominal muscles keeps the pelvic steady and protects the lumbar region
  • The gluteus muscle of the hip joint is pulled towards the back and inclines the pelvic downwards
  • The medial gluteus muscles of the hip joint rotates the thigh in an internal direction
  • The quadriceps straighten out the knees
  • The Tibialis anterior presses the frontal part of the leg towards the ground
Preparations for movements in Urdhva Mukha Svanasana:

Salabhasana and its variations

Cobra and its varieties

Orthopedic movements of the wrist and shoulder

Important points to observe in Urdhva Mukha Svanasana:

The incidence of pain in the lumbar region in this case: 

   A. Compression of the vertebrae in the lumbar region

   B. Compression of tissues in between the vertebrae (disc, cartilage and ligament)

Pain sensors in the external prolongation of bones and in the soft internal tissues approximately specifythe extent of injury.

In order to support the lumbar region (waist) this principle must be observed: 

A. An increase in the distance between the vertebrae which is created with the help of a pull up bar. The movement with this bar, increases the distance between the vertebrae in the medial and lumbar region and causes flexibility in the discs. The discs absorb more water and become more voluminous, creating more space for bending backwards, before there is a compression in the vertebrae.

B. (The action) of bending backwards should be dispersed in the entire vertebral column and the hip joint in a uniform manner so that injury to the lumbar region is prevented or back.

For long-term experience, auxiliary equipment such as a chair and a cube is used (refer to auxiliary equipment section):

  • External foot rotation must be avoided as it brings pressure to the lumbar region or waist. By sensing weight at the sides of the big toe and due to a compression in the gluteus, we are made aware of the external rotation.
  • A negligence in relevance to the abdominal muscles and muscles on the legs causes damage to the lumbar region and the quadriceps femoris muscle must be strengthened and the navel must be pulled inwards and upwards to activate the abdominal muscles.
  • Avoid throwing the head backwards as this brings immense pressure to the cervical vertebrae
  • Prostration is recommended after the movements.
Auxiliary equipment in Urdhva Mukha Svanasana:

Utilizing a chair:

A. The hip joint or thighs are in contact with the edge of the chair and the hands grasp the outer edge of the chair seat with the fingers facing the floor.

B. Pull the shoulders downwards and backwards and simultaneously lift the breast bone.

C. Straighten out the legs in such a manner that the toes rest on the ground, heels lifted and are pulled backwards.

D. Quadriceps in a contracted conditions so that the knees are straightened.

Utilizing a cubes:

Fold a blanket into four and place two cubes on it in such a way that one length of the cube is on the blanket and its other end is on the ground.

Place the hands on the cube in such a manner that the finger incline towards the floor.