How to do Urdhva Hastasana (Upward Hand Pose)
Urdhva hastasana, also known as urdhva vrikshasana, upward tree pose or upward hand pose, is the first asana while performing surya namaskar. It is a perfect pose to revitalize the body, we do it on daily basis when we wake up from the bed and stretch our body, twists the arm, raising it upward then bringing it down. The only difference is that we do not this exercise with the name of yogasana. This asana also works as a preparatory pose for tadasana.
At first, it may seem a very simple pose to perform, however, in the core of the performance is entirely different concept of filling energy into your body, chest, lungs, arms, neck etc.
Steps to do Urdhva Hastasana
Stand on you feet in such a way that entire weight of the body lies on the feet and soul, relax your shoulders, arms by the side, breath normally from the chest and not belly. Once you are in this postion for a few minutes, inhale and stretch your arms over the head straight with fingers trying to go up and up, and keeping the arms parallel and the palms facing each other. Keep the arms and shoulders away from the ears, and neck straight or little bit up at 45 degree.
In the process, you also need to focus on maintaining the balance on your feet as you may feel to get onto the toes and out of the balance due to stretching in the legs while raising your arm up. Keep you legs firmly rooted on the floor, this is the upper part only which should move.
You can breath normally while being in this pose as long as you feel comfortable. Pay attention that with every breath chest, lungs, shoulder blades, is going up. Feel the energy travelling through the arms into the feet. You feel raising and dropping the upper part of the body with every breath.
To release the pose, lower your arms by exhaling and come into the previous pose.
One can practice this asana against the wall also to feel the body alignment.
Once your arm is up, you can try different variations of hands; you can twist the wrist, join your hands in namaste (prayer), interlock the fingers etc. You can also chin up and look at the palms, however, it may give you some dizziness.
- Strengthens the abdomen and the legs
- Spine align and stretches naturally and gets prepared for advance asana.
- Broaden the shoulder blades.
- Any shoulder or neck injury or uncomfort.
- Should not be done by the people with who suffer from headaches, insomnia, or low blood pressure.
It is advisable to perform any asana in the supervision of a qualified yoga instructor.