Spinal Movements Sequence (Part 13): The ‘Upward facing dog pose’ (Urdhva mukha svanâsana)

Bianca Machliss Upward Facing Dog Pose - Synergy Seq 0227

Bianca Machliss Upward Facing Dog Pose. Photo Courtesy of Alejandro Rolandi

This video is Part 13 of a YogaSynergy Spinal Movements Sequence taught by physiotherapist and Director of Yoga Synergy, Simon Borg-Olivier, which he teaches in person in courses throughout the world as well as Online in courses at RMIT University  and Online in courses at YogaSynergy called Yoga Fundamentals and Applied Anatomy and Physiology of Yoga.

To do the Upward Facing Dog Pose, the more advanced version of the cobra, it

involves having:

(i) the spinal extension strength to lift you to whatever height you can come to

(ii) the plank effect of lifting the collar bones,

(iii) the cobra effect of pulling the middle back inwards by pulling with the arms,

(iv) the lunge effect of pushing the groins towards the hands and

(v) the bow effect by turning the shoulders out.

‘Plank effect’, ‘cobra effect’, ‘lunge effect’ and turning the shoulders out like the ‘bow’. All of this is done ideally with the front and the back of the spine firm but the sides of the spine soft. So perhaps you can see on me, front is firm and sides are relaxed. This means that there is a conduit for the blood to flow. Front of trunk firm with the sides of the trunk relaxed means the blood can move from the heart to the trunk without having to pump hard. The blood can flow easily because one part of the body is compressed and another part is relaxed. One part of the body is muscularly tensed and another part relaxed. One part physically compressed and one part is physically lengthened. That means then that blood (and prana) can be pushed throughout the body by turning the whole body into the equivalent of a giant heart. So again you see here that if I expand the chest as if I am breathing into the chest but not, this causes a suction to pull up my abdominal muscles, my abdominal visceral,  but because the hips are pushing forward you will see the front of the trunk (my rectus abdominis) firm.

You can see Part 12 of the instructional videos of the sequence by clicking here

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