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Uttanasana - Benefits, Poses & Types

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Introduction

A lot of yoga exercises require you to exhibit a fair amount of flexibility as they require you to bend and stretch your body in different ways. This article will help you learn more about one particular yoga pose i.e., Uttanasana.

What is Uttanasana?

The Sanskrit term Uttanasana means “intense stretch posture” which requires the yogi to bend forward. This is a fairly straightforward pose that requires the yogi to bend such that his head hangs below his heart. This yoga posture helps direct fresh, oxygen-rich blood to the brain.

Types of Uttanasana

Listed below are some of the varied ways in which the classic Uttanasana yoga pose can be performed.

  • Hasta Uttanasana

Here, the yogi is required to adopt the Tadasana (or Mountain Pose) stance. He must then raise his arms overhead such that his palms meet, and his head, neck and upper body gently tilts backwards. This lies in contrast to the classic Uttanasana pose which requires the practitioner to bend forward as opposed to backward.

  • Uttanasana with a Prop

In case a practitioner finds it hard to practice Uttanasana, he can use a prop in order to make this pose easier. He can place a block below each hand as he bends forward, such that he doesn’t need to bend all the way down and have his palms touch the ground. He can also bend his knees while his palms touch these blocks.

Benefits of Uttanasana

Uttanasana benefits your body in many ways. Some of these benefits have been discussed below.

  • Enhances Flexibility

If you practice Uttanasana on a regular basis, you can increase the flexibility of your hips.

  • Strengthens the Body

This yoga pose helps strengthen the knees and the spine. It also helps muscles situated in the legs like the calves and hamstrings.

  • Improve Blood Circulation

By bending forward in the Uttanasana pose, fresh blood surges forward into your brain and helps boost its functioning.

  • Improves Posture

This front bend yoga pose helps people improve their posture.

  • Enhances the Body’s Functioning

People who practice Uttanasana on a regular basis will be happy to note that this yoga pose improves the way their endocrine system and nervous system function.

  • Eases Tension

Uttanasana helps ease tension that may be experienced in the neck, shoulders or back.

  • Tones the Abdomen

By practising Uttanasana on a regular basis, you can tone the muscles located in your abdomen.

How to Practice Uttanasana?

You can practice Uttanasana by following the steps listed below-

 

Step 1. Begin by adopting the Tadasana (Mountain Pose) stance wherein your hands are placed at your hips.

 

Step 2. Slowly bend your knees and fold your torso over your legs. Bend down from your hips as opposed to from your lower back.

 

Step 3. Your hands might end up being positioned next to your feet.

 

Step 4. Breathe in and extend your chest such that you lengthen your spine.

 

Step 5. Breath out and gently press your legs down. Slowly lift your kneecaps and spiral your upper, inner thighs back with care.

 

Step 6. As you exhale, extend your torso down. Make sure not to round your back as you attempt to do this. Stretch your neck such that the crown of your head faces the ground while you push your shoulders back in the direction of your hips.

 

Step 7. Attempt to hold this position for 30 seconds before releasing it.

 

Beginner’s Tip for Uttanasana

Beginners must practice this position with care in order to protect their lower back. They can bend forward from the crease that is present at the front of their hips by moving their pelvis and sacrum in unison.

How Often Should I Do Uttanasana?

Once you are able to perform this yoga stance with ease, it can be performed 3 times a day with each session involving 5 rounds of this yoga pose.

Precautions to Take to Perform Uttanasana

Before you attempt to adopt the Uttanasana yoga stance, it is important to take into account the following considerations.

 

  • Uttanasana is best practised on an empty stomach. If you intend to practice this pose at any point of the day, make sure you eat at least 4 to 6 hours before you practice this pose.

  • Do not attempt to try this yoga pose if you have been diagnosed with Glaucoma or Sciatica.

  • Pregnant women must not attempt to practice Uttanasana.

  • You must not attempt this forward bend pose if you have injured your lower back or have sustained an injury to your knee or ankle.

Conclusion

Uttanasana is a popular yoga pose that increases the flow of fresh, oxygenated blood to the mind. Given that it provides practitioners with ample benefits, people are often eager to practice this yoga pose as it helps them in their journey to lead a healthy life. However, regardless of how cautious one may be, they can still end up falling sick. In order to be protected in the event that such a scenario arises, consider purchasing a viable health insurance plan. The importance of this plan lies in the fact that it provides coverage in case you injure yourself in an accident or fall ill. 

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FAQs on Uttanasana

  • ✔️Do you bend forward or backward when you perform Uttanasana?

    You bend forward when you perform Uttanasana.

  • ✔️What does Uttanasana mean in English?

    The Sanskrit term Uttanasana means “intense forward pose” in English.

  • ✔️Can you perform Uttanasana after eating a meal?

    Uttanasana should ideally be performed on an empty stomach. If you plan to perform this yoga pose over the course of the day, ensure that you do so after having waited at least 4 hours since your last meal.

  • ✔️Can pregnant women perform Uttanasana?

    Pregnant women must abstain from attempting to perform Uttanasana.

  • ✔️Mention one benefit associated with the practice of Uttanasana.

    One of the benefits associated with Uttanasana is that it helps strengthen the knees and the spine. It also helps muscles situated in the legs like the calves and hamstrings.