MANOA YOGA CENTER
Uttanasana soothes the nerves and brain.
Uttanasana (intense stretch pose)
This pose gives an intense stretch to the spine and is practiced in two stages.
Stage one (concaved spine): Stand facing a chair or similar platform with the feet hip width apart, hands on the hips. Turn the toes slightly in. Tighten the knees and roll the thighs in so that the kneecaps face forward.
Keeping the knees tight, exhale and place the hands on the chair underneath the shoulders. Place the hands shoulder width apart, fingers pointing forward. Press the palms and keep the arms straight.
Gently tilt the buttock bones up and stretch the back of the legs. Keep the legs perpendicular to the floor. Look up and concave the entire spine. Keep the neck long and don't hunch the shoulders. Breathing evenly through the nose, loosen the muscles of the face and relax the eyes. Stay for up to one minute without straining. Those with backaches should remain in this stage.
Stage two (head down): Keeping the legs straight, exhale and rest the crown of the head on the chair and place the hands on the floor. If this is difficult, put a height under the head and rest the hands on books or similar. Breathe quietly, relax the temples and allow the mind to flow inward. Stay for up to two minutes.
Inhale, come back to stage one.
Re-tighten the legs, take the hands to hips, inhale and come up.
As you gain ease in the pose, you may use a lower height, however, if during stage one, the spine loses its concavity in any portion, then you are not ready to go lower.
Uttanasana is a gentle inversion where the head is lower than the heart. The brain becomes soothed, the heart rested, and the blood pressure is regulated. The nerves are calmed. Stomachaches are relieved and the liver, spleen and kidneys are toned.
and Shelley Choy
are certified Iyengar Yoga teachers and co-direct the Manoa Yoga Center at Manoa Marketplace. Visit www.manoayoga.com
or call 382-3910. Manoa Yoga Center, the authors and the Star-Bulletin take no responsibility for any injury arising from the practice of these yoga postures. Readers should seek a doctor's approval before commencing this yoga practice.