December 2010 Yoga Pose of the Month: Upward Facing Dog

Editor’s Note: This is a guest post series entitled “Yoga Pose of the Month” by yoga teacher and life coach Laura Erdman-Luntz. Join Laura for a LIVE, online, interactive yoga workshop on January 2, 2011 10am-noon, Central Time (Chicago), $30. Go to, register and you will receive a $10 credit that you can use towards Laura’s class. More information on Laura:

Urdhva Mukha Svanasana (Upward Facing Dog Pose)

Laura shows us Upward Facing Dog Pose
Laura shows us Upward Facing Dog Pose

This month we are studying Urdhva Mukha Svanasana (Upward Facing Dog Pose).  I love this pose, especially if I am really engaging the back body and core well.  I feel strong and powerful from the pose.  I have also found it is a pose that has challenged me over the years, especially learning how to use my legs more effectively to be able to open my back up better to open my heart.  I am looking forward to studying it even more this month!

Here are some ideas for studying the pose.   Please share if you have other ideas:

1.    Play with how strong your legs need to extend.  How far can you engage before they feel rigid?  How far can you release before they are sagging?  Where is your happy medium?
2.    What can you do to get more openness in the upper back?  Can you so something with your arms to create more openness?  Legs?  Core?
3.    Play with going into the pose through a flow (Adho Mukha Svanasana to Chaturanga Dandasana) or pushing up from the ground.  Compare the two with no judgment.  What I mean is, assume one is not better than the other (and even let go of preferences…have a Beginner’s Mind), they are just different and teaching you something different.  What is each one teaching you?
4.    What pose do you feel like doing when you are done with this pose?  Why?

Editor’s Note:
Here are additional resources to support your learning of Upward-Facing Dog Pose:

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By laura.erdman-luntz

Experienced Yoga Educator, Author, inspiring Life Coach and Business Entrepreneur, Laura Erdman-Luntz has over 20 years experience in the fitness and wellness industries. She uniquely blends her Life Coaching knowledge and vast experience with Yoga to create programs, classes and workshops that truly do bring mind and body together for positive change, inspiring people to live their most authentic life. She incorporates New Thought ideas into classes and programs on positive living, manifesting and changing subconscious beliefs. Her Yoga training began in 1988 and began teaching in 1992. She has taught over 500 workshops, over 15,000 hours of yoga classes, coached hundreds of clients and has trained dozens of yoga teachers at the beginner and advanced level. She has studied with Judith Hansen Lasater, Jo Zucovitch, Ramanand Patel, Rodney Yee, Patricia Walden, Barbara Benaugh, Donna Farhi, John Friend and many others.


  1. Great Article! if you want to learn more about yoga and how to start up your own yoga business read How to Start and Maintain A Profitable Yoga Business by L. Burke Files.
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  2. A very insightful post!! The asanas in yoga are crucial! I have heard about Classical Yoga taught at The Yoga Institute, which is the most authentic form of yoga. They do away with the commercial part of yoga and focus on yoga and its asanas as practiced by the initial gurus!

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