Last updated: December 21, 2023

What Does Mukha Mean?

Mukha, one of the terms used in the names of certain yoga poses, is a Sanskrit word meaning “face.” A popular pose in which the term is used is adho mukha svanasana, also called downward-facing dog pose in English. Adho mukha vrksasana is another example and is literally translated as downward-facing tree pose, but is commonly referred to as handstand in English.


Yogapedia Explains Mukha

Adho mukha svanasana is one of the poses in the Sun Salutation sequence. The pose helps to maintain youthfulness, promotes brain function and relieves stress. A variation of the pose is eka pada adho mukha svanasana.

Urdhva mukha svanasana is called upward-facing dog pose in English. Though it resembles bhujangasana, this pose provides a deeper stretch. Other benefits include opening the chest, aiding in curing asthmatic conditions and strengthening the back.

Adho mukha vrksasana, an arm-balancing pose that strengthens the arms, improves balance, promotes blood circulation and energizes the whole body.

Additional asana names that include mukha: makara adho mukha svanasana, parivrtta adho mukha svanasana and adho mukha swastikasana.

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