Upward Facing Intense Stretch
Urdhva Mukha Paschimottanasana
Urdhva Mukha Paschimottanasana (Upward Facing Intense Stretch) is an intermediate level pose that can be practised to strengthen the core, the hamstrings, lower back and also reduce belly fat.
The Urdhva Mukha Paschimottanasana activates the manipura chakra and also helps to boost energy.
Steps to do Upward Facing Intense Stretch / Urdhva Mukha Paschimottanasana
- Lie down in supine pose.
- Exhale and come to Halasana(Plough Pose), extend your arms and take them behind your head, hold both your big toes and stretch your legs.
- Inhale and slowly stretch your legs to point your toes towards the ceiling.
- Lift your upper body and balance your weight on your sitting bones.
- Touch your forehead to your shin bones. Make sure your back and your knees are straight. Bring your elbows next to your calves.
- To come out of this pose, release your legs and sit in Dandasana / Staff Pose.
Tips for beginners
- Practising Naukasana variations will help you achieve the Upward Facing Intense stretch.
- The poses that strengthen your lower back will help you reach the final pose easily.
- To make this easier, you can take the support of the wall as a beginner.
- The Urdhva Mukha Paschimottanasana helps in relieving lower back pain and strengthen the lower back.
- This pose prevents hernia, calms the mind , removes anxiety & stress.
- Tones kidney and abdominal organs.
- Improves digestion.
- Stretches and lengthens the leg muscles.
- Strengthens the back muscles.
- Improves blood circulation and strengthen hip flexors.
Watch out for
- If you have asthma avoid this asana.
- If you have back/knee/hip or ankle injuries avoid this asana.
- If you have a severe headache or diarrhoea do not try this.
- You can intensify the Urdhva Mukha Paschimottanasana by sitting on a chair.
- You can also include this Upward Facing Intense Stretch as a partner pose by facing your back towards each other.