Urdhva Hastasana (greeting up): which means, process, advantages and contraindications

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Sanskrit pronunciation Urdhva Hastasana
(OORD-vah hahs-TAHS-uh-nuh)
importance Urdhva = elevated (or upwards / hasta = hand / asana = pose
Pose type Standing stretch
Pose level Beginner
anatomy Arms and shoulders, upper back, neck, psoas muscles
other names Hand stretch pose upwards, greeting upwards, pose with raised hands, mountain pose with arms above head or Utthita Hasta in Tadasana Palm Pose, Urdhva Hastotanasana

Urdhva Hastasana information

Urdhva Hastasana is a standing pose that refreshes the entire body by increasing energy levels. Whether you are a trained yogi, an aspirant, or even a beginner, everyone does this pose on a daily basis.

Every time you get up or wake up from long hours of sitting, straighten your arms above your head, stretching your entire body from toes to fingertips. This unconscious movement stimulates the body and the forms again Urdhva Hastasana.

Urdhva hastasana refers to "pose with hands raised". This gentle stretch regenerates the energetic spark and offers various therapeutic benefits.

Urdhva Hastasana Practice Guide

Upward greeting postureImage source: Canva

Contraindications and Precautions

  • Avoid sprains in and around the shoulders and neck.
  • You can also try without raising your arms completely above your head if it hurts while stretching in the full version.
  • Make sure that you have mastered the basic tadasana alignment before attempting this pose. It will serve as a preparatory pose to stretch and balance the body in Urdhva Hastasana.
  • As you lengthen the spine, pull the pubic bone toward the navel to avoid injuring the lumbar spine and rib cage.
  • Stack your knees above your ankles and your shoulders just above your hips.

Urdhva Hastasana procedure

Urdhva Hastasana how to do itImage source: Canva

Follow these simple instructions to attain Urdhva Hastasana and experience its energetic benefits:

  • Stand in Tadasana with your feet 4 inches apart and your arms by your sides.
  • Distribute the weight evenly between both feet and relax your arms, neck, and shoulders.
  • Inhale and raise your arms over your shoulders and head.
  • Bandage your palms over your head and keep your feet firmly on the floor.
  • Pull up on the shins and kneecaps, keeping the thighs engaged as you stretch up.
  • Keep breathing in and deepen the stretch by activating the core muscles and stretching the neck muscles to look at the hands raised.
  • Hold the stretch for about 8-10 breaths, then return your arms to your sides as you exhale.
  • This completes one round of Urdhva Hastasana. Practice it for about 10 rounds and then relax.

Follow up poses

The practice of Urdhva Hastasana is followed by reverse poses such as Standing Forward Bend (Uttanasana) and Standing Sideways Bending.

Props and modifications

  • Beginners often have difficulty keeping their arms straight as they are raised up. To make this challenge easier, try a loop around your upper arms that keeps them shoulder-width apart.
  • Place a block between your thighs as you stretch up. It squeezes the outer hips together and pushes the tailbone down and neutralizes the pelvis.

Urdhva Hastasana Variations

Perform these variant poses of Urdhva Hastasana to ease or deepen the pose.

1. Urdhva Hastasana with folded fingers

As the name suggests, it only differs in the hand movement. After standing above your head with your arms raised, cross your fingers and twist your palm up. It will improve stretch all over your body.

2. Urdhva Hastasana balanced on toes

As you reach up, lift your heels off the floor and shift your weight onto your toes. Look up at the fingers raised or locked. Therefore, in this variant, the body is only balanced on the toes, which makes it an advanced variant.

3. Urdhva Hastasana without raising your arms

This variant of Urdhva Hastasana comes in handy when you have pain in your shoulders or neck. Stand with your body on your toes and spread your arms next to you at shoulder level or connect them with Anjali Mudra on your chest.

Therapeutic uses

  1. Urdhva Hastasana also improves mental health and has been shown to be useful in curing anxiety and stress.
  2. This posture is helpful in curing asthma and other lung diseases.
  3. It has healing effects o relieving sciatic pain.
  4. This is an excellent route to get rid of back pain.
  5. Anyone suffering from upset stomach or dyspepsia must try Urdhva Hastasana

Urdhva Hastasana benefits

1. Improves posture

This asana stretches the entire spine, relaxes the shoulders and tones the body. Stretching multiple muscles, including the legs, arms, core, back, and hips, corrects any postural deformity and helps keep the body toned.

2. Stimulates the digestive system

It stretches the core muscles that massage and tone the abdominal organs, viz. Stomach, pancreas and liver. This gently stretches the abdominal muscles of the rectus and intestines. Thus it improves the overall efficiency of the digestive system.

3. Improves lung efficiency

Urdhva Hastasana is accepted as the chest expands and increases the capacity of the lungs. It makes diaphragmatic breathing easier and helps maintain a healthy respiratory system.

4. Improves blood circulation

The whole experience of the muscular system extends in Urdhva Hastasana. This expansion of the muscles removes the constipation of muscles by regulating proper blood supply throughout the body.

Conclusion

Get an instant burst of energy through your body practicing Urdhva Hastasana at any time of the day.

This posture prepares the body for advanced postures by improving balance, strength, and body alignment. So get ready to try it out and accept the grace it will leave you.

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