Urdhva Mukha Paschimottanasana
Meaning: Urdhva means upward, Mukha means face, while Paschimottanasana is composed by Paschim that means back body, Uttana means intense stretch, and Asana means pose.
Step by step method: to enter in this asana, start sitting in Dandasana, then lay down slowly. Inhale and reach the arms overhead. Exhale and lift straight the legs off the floor, lift the hips and bring the feet to the hands, grabbing the big toe or the sole. Inhale and straighten the spine. Exhale, curl in and roll forward to balance. Inhale as you find the balance, point and gaze upwards. Exhale, fold the torso to the legs as in Paschimottanasana, and use the strength of the limbs to find the balance and hold the position; take five breaths in the final position.
Wrong alignment: knees are bended. Release the grip on the toes can compromise the asana, becoming largely worthless.
Right alignment: legs and back should be straight, try to reach the shins with the forehead.
URDHVA MUKHA PASCHIMOTTANASANA Benefits
- Strengthen the lower back and the abdominal area
- Strengthen the esophagus and the 2nd chakra
- Lengthen the leg muscles
- Prevent hernia
- Tone the kidneys and abdominal organs; massage all the digestive organs in general
- Relief problem as constipation and sciatica
- Invigorate nervous system
- Improve concentration and calm the mind
Who should avoid it: people who suffer asthma, diarrhea or back injury (perform only under the supervision of an expert teacher).