Upward-Facing Dog (Urdhva Mukha Svanasana) is a pose that is commonly performed incorrectly. I see students with their hands placed too far forward, no core contraction, and completely disengaged thigh muscles.
How to do it right:
From a prone position (lying face-down) on the mat with the tops of the feet down, plant the hands flat next to the lower ribs, fingertips spread out wide. Engage the thighs, pull the pit of the belly in and up, and press the tops of the feet firmly into the floor. Press the hands, particularly the ball joints of the fingers (under knuckles) into the mat. Squeeze elbows in as you roll the scapula (shoulders) back, straighten the arms (torso, hips, and thighs coming off the floor) and reach the crown of the head up. Lift the sternum to the sky.
Bethany Lyons is a powerful leader, creator, community builder and cofounder of Lyons Den Power Yoga, Manhattan's only Baptiste-style yoga studio. Bethany is a classically trained ballet dancer, Certified Baptiste Yoga Teacher and Master Instructor at SoulCycle. In cofounding Lyons Den Power Yoga, Bethany seeks to showcase the endless possibilities all around us and to show up in a big way for her students and in her life.