The Urdhva Hastasana - Upward Salute, By Swami B.K.S. Iyengar

Upward Salute
(oord-vah hahs-TAHS-anna)
urdhva = raised (or upward) 
hasta = hand

Steps :
1. Stand in Tadasana. Turn your arms outward (or laterally) so your palms face away from your torso and thumbs point backward. With an inhale, sweep your arms out to the sides and up toward the ceiling.

2. If you're tighter in the shoulders, stop when your arms are approximately parallel to each other. But if possible without hunching your shoulders forward, press your palms firmly together by, touching the bases of your palms first, then the palms themselves, and finally the fingers.

3. Extend your elbows fully and reach up through your pinkies so your thumbs turn slightly down toward the crown of your head. Making sure not to compress the back of your neck, tip your head back slightly and gaze at your thumbs.

4. Don't let your lower front ribs protrude forward. Bring your front ribs down (toward your pelvis) and in (toward your spine), and lengthen your tail bone toward the floor. Then lift your rib cage evenly away from your pelvis to stretch the circumference of your belly. Hold for a few breaths.

5. Exhale and, as you sweep your arms out to the sides, tip your torso forward from the hip joints to fold into Uttanasana (Standing Forward Bend).

Anatomical Focus
  • Shoulders
  • Arms
  • Armpits 
  • Belly 

Therapeutic Applications
  • Fatigue
  • Asthma
  • Indigestion
  • Back ache

  • Stretches the belly 
  • Improves digestion 
  • Stretches the shoulders and armpits 
  • Helps relieve mild anxiety 

Contraindications and Cautions
Avoid the raised arms in this pose with shoulder or neck injuries.

Beginner's Tip
To help straighten your raised arms, secure them with the shoulder-width loop around your upper arms just above the elbows.

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