Upward Forward Fold - Urdhva Uttanasana

Also known as the Urdhva Uttanasana, the forward fold exercises in yoga are very commonly performed and help in a number of areas of the well being of the body.

One should be careful when attempting this pose as the forward folds require some amount of agility, especially in the midriff region.

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Steps :

  1. Firstly begin with the Mountain Pose or the Tadasana.
  2. Once in the mountain pose, bend forward at your hips as you slowly exhale and let your hands move down to touch the ground.
  3. Slowly inhale and rise up to let only your fingertips touch the ground while your back remains parallel to the ground.
  4. Arch your spine a little and open up the chest to allow the sternum to reach the floor.
  5. Let your back stay flat and your legs remain straight as you slowly inhale to gaze to the ceiling.
  6. Continue to breathe slowly for 1-4 breaths before you get back to normal position.

Precautions :

  • Do not perform the pose if you are a beginner and have no one to guide you through the poses.
  • If you are suffering from injuries to the spine, it is best that you avoid the pose altogether.
  • Since the pose is known to put pressure on the abdominal region, it is best that you stay away from the pose if you are pregnant.

Benefit to Body Part :

  • Strengthens and also helps in the alignment of the spinal column. Besides this it also lengthens the spinal column
  • It stretches the muscles in the feet and back of the legs.
  • It opens up the area of the chest.

Therapeutic Applications :

  • The upward forward fold helps in the treatment of headache
  • Fatigue and mild depression are also known to easy with the performance of this pose.
  • It helps improve menstruation in women.

Beginner’s Tip :

If you are a beginner and find it difficult to place your hands right up to the ground, you could place them on your knees or thigh.

Besides this you could also make use of yoga blocks that can be used as a support.

Variations :

The variations are more challenging and therefore should be performed only after a certain degree of mastery is attained in the Upward Forward Fold. You could practice the Padungusthasana or the reclining big toe pose as a variation to the Urdhva Uttasana.

Preparatory Poses :

The preparatory poses are known to help in preparing the body to perform the more complicated poses in yoga. They loosen the muscles and make the body more flexible. Some of the preparatory poses include;

Follow Up Poses:

The follow up poses include mostly standing poses, seated forward bends and inversions.

Keep in mind that all the poses that you perform should be done slowly under the guidance of some professional. Do not attempt any of the yoga poses on your own in case you are sick or are a novice in the field of yoga.

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