Building Blocks: Upward Facing Dog

By Power Life

When it comes to yoga a strong foundation is necessary to elevate your practice. Whether you are new to yoga or a seasoned yogi, breaking down the building blocks of a frequently used posture can be beneficial.  Especially with a posture like upward facing dog, that is used repetitively in many formats. Our bodies have muscle memories – take a look at our break down of upward facing dog to ensure that your muscles are remembering correctly!


How to do it:

  • Roll over onto the tops (shoelace side) of your feet.
  • Press your hands and feet firmly into the mat.
  • Lift your knees off the mat by engaging your quadriceps.
  • Broaden your chest and elongate your spine by pressing the crown of your head up toward the ceiling.
  • Engage your core.

Be mindful of:

  • Crunching into your lower back due to lack of engagement in your core and quads.
  • Knees and thighs resting on the mat – lift them off!
  • Hyperextension of your elbows.
  • Shoulders creeping up toward your earlobes. Release your shoulder blades down your back toward your tailbone.


  • Take low cobra if Upward Facing Dog causes discomfort in your lower body, chest or shoulders.

Why we love this pose:

  • Strengthens your legs, back and arms.
  • Stretches your chest and abdomen.
  • Energizes the mind, relieves anxiety and reduces stress.

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About Kirk: 

Kirk was working 80-hour weeks and wearing his shoulders as earrings when he found yoga in 2005. Forever the competitive athlete, he loved the physicality of yoga. When the spiritual and philosophical side of yoga were exposed to him, Kirk was hooked. Yoga provided him with what other activities couldn’t -- the ability to foster the benefits of practice both on and off of the mat. Yoga was something that Kirk could bring into all aspects of his life. 

Kirk knows that yoga can be intimidating, so he crafts a class that is playful and inviting, while still being challenging and safe. His creatively planned classes build strength and flexibility in your body and mind while establishing clarity, giving you more confidence to overcome obstacles in your life, and keeping you injury-free. His classes are themed with a message that is relatable and will inspire you to take it with you off your mat. Kirk has been teaching yoga since 2008 and lead his first teacher training in 2012. Where Kirk truly shines is in coaching, developing and bringing out the best in others.  

Kirk enjoys traveling (40+ countries to date!), snowboarding, and cherishes time with his wife and two daughters. 

About Christen: 

Christen Bakken’s yoga journey began in 1998 in a Bikram studio that provided a safe and secure place to practice. She saw the yoga mat as a place to remember her purpose and a place to play. As she continued her studies and began her journey to teaching in 2006, Christen infused yoga classes with devotion and the yoga mat became a place of personal transformation and healing. Her classes are filled with laughter, song, sweat, and usually heart openers. In 2013, Christen began training yoga teachers. This is the place where she finds the most joy - in community with folks looking to grow and be of greater service in their homes, on their mats, and in the world. Over the years, she has led trainings in Denver, the Midwest, Florida, and now abroad. She has trained in continuing education modules, 200-hour, 300-hour, and 500-hour programs. Beyond the mat, Christen is a passionate adventure seeker - she loves to bike, snowboard, and spend time with her husband and pups. She sees each day as a blessing and hopes to remind all who interact with her of this truth.  

Two Light Studio Parking Information

Did you know that we validate parking for TWO garages?!

For the Two Light garage, please bring your ticket inside for validation. For the Power & Light garage, please ask for a parking pass at the front desk. (Hot tip: the Power & Light garage has a ton of space! But be sure to give yourself a little extra time to walk to the studio.)

If you find that you are running a little late, please call the studio to let the instructor know to keep an eye out for you.

Blackstone Studio Parking

  • We have partnered with our friends at Greenslate to provide 1 hour and 15 minute validated parking for Power Life students in the lot at 36th and Harney (just south of the Cottonwood Hotel). Read below to learn how to take advantage of this perk:

    • Step 1: Scan the QR code located in the lot.

    • Step 2: Select your destination (i.e. “yoga studio”).

    • Step 3: Ask for the validation code at the Blackstone studio front desk and enter it on your phone.

    • Step 4: You are all set! Have fun at class!

    Please note:

    • The validation provided by Power Life and Greenslate is for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Need to add additional time to your parking space? You can do that conveniently from your phone!

    • This option is valid once per day per license plate.

East Village Studio Amenities

  • There is a paved lot and gravel lot on the West side of the building.

  • Meters on Court and 4th (by Peace Tree) for $0.25/hour, 9am-9pm Mon. – Sat. 12-hour max

  • Meters on 4th (to the North) for $1.25/hour. Mon – Sat. 4-hour max.

  • All meters are free on Sundays and major holidays.

Building Blocks: Upward Facing Dog Info