COURTESY MANOA YOGA CENTER
Keep the arms straight and in line with trunk. Do not let your back arch.
(Upward Bound Finger Pose) -- Stage I »
Urdhva Baddhangullyasana is a standing pose where the fingers are bound together and the arms are stretched overhead. This pose is wonderful for creating flexibility in the wrists, arms and shoulders and relieves tightness in the neck. People who work at computers, taxi drivers, surfers, hair stylists, or anyone whose activities cause tension in the neck and upper body, will gain great benefit from this asana.
1. Find an even surface and stand with the feet together. Look down at the feet as this will help you to be more conscious of them. Bring the big toes to touch evenly together and press them down. Keep them pressing down as you spread the weight to the inner heels and outer edges of the feet. Distribute the weight evenly on both feet.
2. Looking at the thighs, press them with your hands until you feel the weight come to the front edge of the heels. Do not shift or move the feet. As you press the thighs back, notice that the kneecaps lift up and the legs become firm and straight.
3. Take one hand to the lower belly and the other to the buttocks. As you lift the pit of the belly, draw the buttocks down to the floor. This lifts the pelvis to vertical, prevents 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 (Mountain Pose).
6. Now, interlock the fingers all the way up to the webbing of the palms. There should be no light visible at the interlock. Straighten the arms and extend them to the front in line with shoulders. Turn the palms away from the trunk so that the thumbs face the floor. Roll the forearm bones in to help you to keep the interlock. Do not let the shoulder hunch but pull the shoulder blades down, away from the ears. Roll the upper arm bones out to help do this. The arm muscles should feel like they are gripping and entwining the arm bones.
7. Keep this grip in the arms and fingers as you take the arms into a vertical position directly over the head. Do not let the back arch and work to maintain Tadasana in the trunk. Lift the palms and arms to lift the trunk. Gaze straight forward and breathe softly through the nose
Hold for up to a minute and repeat several times, changing the interlock of the fingers.
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.