COURTESY MANOA YOGA CENTER
Work to lift the trunk and spine and straighten the arms without disturbing Tadasana.
(Upward-facing hand pose) »
Urdhva Hastasana arises out of Tadasana (last week's article). In this pose, the sides of the body are fully stretched and the spine is lifted. Practitioners of this are rejuvenated and have a sense of lightness.
1. Find an even surface and stand with the feet together. Look down at the feet. Align the big toes together and press the balls of the big toes down. Keep pressing them down as you spread the weight to the inner heels and outer edges of the feet. Distribute the weight evenly on both feet.
2. Take your fingers to the thighs, and looking at the thighs, press them back until you feel your weight shift onto the front edge of the heels. Do not move about. Notice that with weight on the heels, the thighs lift the kneecaps up and the legs become firm and straight.
3. Keeping the thighs back, take one hand to the lower belly and the other hand to the buttocks. Lift the pit of the belly up and draw the buttocks down. This lifts the pelvis vertically, preventing the buttocks from sticking out, and minimizes arching of the lower back. Keep the legs firm and straight.
4. Maintain the position and actions of the feet, thighs and pelvis, as you roll the thighs in so the knees point straight forward.
5. Spread and open the chest by turning the upper arms out, and bring the shoulder blades into the back. This is Tadasana.
6. Extend the arms to the front, in alignment with the shoulders. Keep the arms firm, straight and parallel, with fingers extended and palms facing each other.
7. With an inhalation, raise the arms vertically so that they are in line with the ears. Do not let the back arch; work to maintain Tadasana in the trunk.
8. Stay in this pose for up to a minute as you lift the trunk and extend the arms. If you cannot straighten your arms, widen the palms, stretching from the inner elbows to the palms. This will straighten arms.
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.