Upward Salute - Urdhva Hastasana

The upward salute or the Urdhva Hastasana is a natural way of stretching your entire body and is typically done after sitting or sleeping for a long period of time.

This pose of yoga is known to be very beneficial as it tends to awaken the body right from the fingertips to the toes thereby providing ten body with an instant boost of energy.


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The basis of the Upward salute pose is the Tadasana or the mountain pose wherein you should learn the alignment well before you reach your arms overhead.


  1. To start with the upward salute pose , you should first assume the position of the mountain pose or the tadasana by standing with your feet together and your arms by your side. Thereafter pressing your weight evenly across the arches and balls of your feet , you should draw downwards via the heels and try to straighten your legs as much as possible.
  2. Thereafter lift the arches of the feet and the ankles and squeeze the outré shins of both feet towards each other.
  3. Once done by engaging the quadriceps, draw the tops of the thighs upwards and back. Slowly rotate your thighs slightly inwards and try to widen your sit bones.
  4. Thereafter tuck the tailbone to a slight extent by ensuring that you do not round your back. Once done move the pelvis back into a neutral position by keeping the hips aligned with the center of the body and then slightly draw the belly inwards.
  5. The collarbones should be then broadened and the neck elongated. Once this position is achieved you should release the shoulder blades towards the back of the waist.
  6. Thereafter tilt your head gently backwards and look at your thumbs.
  7. You should be breathing deeply and smoothly and try to imagine that your breath is travelling all through your body.

    As you lift your arms up from the sides of the waist you should inhale and as you soften your shoulders you should exhale.
  8. Try and maintain this pose for at least a minute. While releasing this pose exhale and then sweep the arms back to the sides of your body.

Precautions :

  • Those with neck or shoulder injuries should avoid raising their arms completely over their head.
  • Instead in such cases, they should just practice the mountain pose.
  • Similarly if the individual becomes dizzy or lightheaded while gazing upwards or experiences pain in the neck while doing so then they should instead continue to gaze straight ahead at the horizon.
  • While performing any pose of yoga, you should try and ensure that you do not overstretch yourself and instead listen to your body and work within your own limitations.

Beginner’s Tip :

A tip for those who would be practicing the upward salute pose for the first time is to straighten your arms while they are raised by securing them with a shoulder width loop that should be placed around the upper arms and just above your elbows.

Benefits To Body Parts And Therapeutic Applications:

  • The upward salute pose is known to be very effective in stretching the spine, armpits, belly , shoulders and overall body.
  • The upward salute pose also helps in reducing fatigue and anxiety and improves the overall digestion process
  • It is also known to be therapeutic in the treatment of congestion and asthma.


In case of pregnant women, they should widen their stance as much as possible while practising this pose so as to ensure stability.

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