Upward Facing Dog is a widely known and popular yoga backbend!
Upward Dog is a powerful posture that will awaken the upper body, help you build strength and provide you with a gentle backbend in preparation for deeper backbends. This pose is normally part of the traditional Sun Salutation sequence in Vinyasa and Ashtanga yoga classes and is most often practiced in close connection to its "sister" pose, Downward Facing Dog. Like Down Dog this pose is named after the behavior of a stretching dog after a long nap!
It's common to hear the pose referred to as "Upward Dog", or even just "Up Dog" if you're in a hurry! Many yoga newbies may make the mistake of confusing this pose with Cobra Pose.
The Sanskrit name or translation is Urdhva Mukha Svanasana. The breakdown for the Sanskrit name is as follows, "Urdhva" meaning "Upward", "Mukha" meaning "Face", "Svana" meaning "Dog" and "Asana" meaning "Posture or Pose".
It may appear to be a simple yoga pose, but the posture offers more than its share of alignment tricks and challenges. Despite its seemingly simple nature, this posture is rich with benefits and can help advance your practice and general fitness in a variety of ways.