COURTESY MANOA YOGA CENTER
Carol Ahuna, left, Nikki Armstrong and Kim Schaper, students of Manoa Yoga Center, show the stages of Urdhva Baddangullyasana.
(Upward bound finger pose)
» In this pose, the fingers are interlocked and the arms extended overhead.
Urdhva Baddhangullyasana relieves stiffness in the fingers, wrists, arms, shoulders and neck. It stretches the spine and brings a feeling of lightness and energy. It's particularly helpful in reducing tension accumulated in repetitive activities, such as computer keyboard work, yardwork and construction.
1. Stand straight with feet together in tadasana (http://archives.starbulletin.com/2006/09/17/features/yoga.html)
2. Interlock your fingers firmly so that the webbing of the fingers contact each other.
3. To straighten the arms, roll your palms forward with the thumbs pointing to the floor, and stretch the palms away from your chest. Keep the firm interlock of the fingers; your elbows should not bend. Pull your shoulders blades down away from the neck and lift the chest.
4. Now, keeping your arms straight, inhale and take your arms overhead. Bring the upper arms in line with your ears. Work to fully straighten your arms and turn the palms to face the ceiling. Do not let your shoulders lift, and keep your neck long. Look straight forward and breathe quietly through your nose. Grow in height as you press your feet into the floor and lift your trunk and arms.
5. With an inhalation, lift your chest and take your head back. Look up, gazing at the hands. Keep your shoulders down so that the neck is not crunched. Hold for a few breaths. Do not let your back arch. Instead, lengthen your buttocks to the heels and learn to use the muscles around the shoulder blades to hold your arms in position.
6. Exhale and bring your chin to the chest. Work to keep your arms vertical as they tend to move forward as the head bows. Look into the chest and release the back of your neck. Relax your throat so that it does not harden.
7. After several breaths, lift your head and look forward. Bring your arms down and change the interlock of the fingers. Repeat the pose.
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.