Origins of Raised Hands Pose
The origins of Urdhva Hastasana, or Raised Hands Pose, can be traced back to the yoga poses of old. Today, this simple yet powerful pose is used in a variety of ways, from building core strength to energizing the body.
When practiced correctly, this pose awakens the energy channels called nadis and balances the charka flow throughout the body. It also opens the chest, lengthens the spine, and strengthens the core.
Raised Hands Pose is a full-body stretch that is commonly performed as part of the Sun Salutation routine. As a result, it frequently receives surprisingly little attention. During a vinyasa flow, you may only linger in the position for one breath, but it’s worth the time and effort to discover the advantages on your own.
If you’ve ever gotten out of bed in the morning and stretched for a long time, you’ve done the Raised hands pose. This pose helps to improve posture, strengthen the legs, and stretch the entire body.
But as with Mountain Position, it is more than just standing about, successfully executing raised hands pose warrants close attention to detail. Some elements of the body go down whereas others move up in push-pull antagonism, bringing this stretch towards the next level. For example, when your thighs draw up your the legs just below your knee push your feet and ground them to the floor. The hands move up in a similar manner, while your shoulders remain neutral. This pose serves as a springboard for a variety of other poses, so getting it perfect might help you progress to more advanced ones.
Step by step instructions
Beginning from Mountain Pose, breath in to lift your arms out to the sides and up toward the sky.
- If you can manage it, bring your palms together or keep your both of your arms parallel in the absence of hunched shoulders. However, if they are not touching then do your best to keep them facing one another. Your arms should be quite straight, and your hands should be active all the way to the tips of your fingers. Raise your gaze to your thumbs.
- Move your shoulders away from your ears, focusing on expanding your collarbones. Knit your ribs back together if you feel they are protruding out or pulling apart. And remember to maintain a tight grip on your thigh muscles and keep them engaged to pull your kneecaps higher.
- As you raise through the crown of your head, ground your feet into the floor with your arms raised over your head. Gently draw the navel in toward the spine while maintaining a raised sternum.
- When you reach this step, exit the posture by lowering your arms.
Overstretching your neck and back
One of the most common mistakes that beginning practitioners make when Raised hands is to overstretch their neck and back. It is important to note that the primary muscles that are engaged when performing Raised hands are the latissimus dorsi. When engaging the lats during Raised hands, the primary goal is to draw the shoulders and chest towards the spine and not to extend the neck and back.
Do not hunch your shoulders
You could notice that your shoulders are up towards your ears at first. Maintain a neutral posture with your shoulders. They’ll naturally lift up, but keep an eye on them to make sure they’re not trying to contact your ears. Consider enlarging your chest and enlarging your collarbones.
When practicing Raised hands, it is important to keep the back straight and avoid hunching your shoulders. Hunching your shoulders will cause the shoulder blades to push against the back of the collarbone, which will result in a pinching feeling. This feeling can lead to a painful condition known as shoulder impingement.
Spread your arms wide
It is important to keep the elbows in close to the body or the elbows should be kept in a straight line with the shoulders. This will ensure that the primary muscles that are engaged and not the triceps or biceps. If you are performing Raised hands pose and your elbows are in a “V” shape away from your body, or if your elbows are bent, you are engaging the wrong muscles.
In the case that your arms are in a V shape away from your body or your elbows themselves are bent, you will not be able to obtain a good stretch of your sides. However, some people have a lengthier acromion process (meaning it is linked to the collar bone and clavicle through ligaments), making it very difficult to move around the bone without making a V shape with the arms. If you happen to reach a point where you ca not stretch your arms any further or feel a pinch, make the letter V.
Although looking back and creating a backbend at the peak of this position may be a possibility in class, always aim to start with a straight spine. Pull your navel towards your spine and knit your ribs together towards your body’s centre line to help with this. This will help you maintain a tall posture by using your core. For added stability, concentrate on sinking your feet into the ground.
Banana back is a common beginner’s mistake in Raised hands pose, and involves flexing the spine so that the hips and shoulders are in a “ banana shape ”. This is a common beginner’s mistake that involves flexing the spine so that the hips and shoulders are in a “banana shape”. This should be avoided in, as it will cause the practitioner to engage the wrong muscles.
Do you need a change in the position?
If you are a pregnant woman and individuals who have balancing problems should maintain a wider posture, whatever feels most comfortable. If you have neck troubles, do not try looking up at your thumbs with your head tilted. Hold your eyes level instead.
You can try to place a block in between your thighs. Grip the block and slide it slightly backwards so you will feel the engagement and also the rotation of your thighs This also includes a broadening of your hip bones. Afterwards attempt to repeat the pose over, so that you experience the action of rotating the thighs inward without the aid of the yoga block.
If you have a shoulder or neck injury, you may well not be capable of raising your arms above your head. In that scenario, you may prefer to stay in Mountain Pose.
When you practise the Raised hands pose, do it with your back to a wall to grasp the alignment as each component of your body stacks up straight to attain a strong posture.
Do you want to take on a challenge?
Make a backbend with this stance. As you lay back, imagine your back is draped over a beach ball. If it feels more natural, just let neck hang. You might be able to drop all the way back to wheel stance at some point. At the begging you can try practicing near a wall, making your way downwards to the ground with your hands placed on the wall.
Raised hands can be performed in a number of different ways, which can help to make the pose more challenging. By adding additional poses before or after Urdhva Hastasana, you can create a sequence of poses that will challenge you further.
For example, you can perform a series of poses that focuses on the shoulders, such as Downward-Facing Dog, Standing Forward Fold, and Side Angle pose. After performing the series of poses, you can perform Raised hands pose.
Precautions to consider
- When practicing, it is important to keep the posture correct and avoid hunching the shoulders. Hunching the shoulders will cause the shoulder blades to push against the back of the collarbone, which will result in a pinching feeling.
- This feeling can lead to a painful condition known as shoulder impingement. In the event that the shoulder impingement becomes too painful, it is important to alleviate the pressure off of the shoulder blades so that the shoulder blades do not push against the back of the collarbone.
- This position should be avoided if you have a shoulder or neck injury that prohibits you from extending your arms above your head. This pose may provide a decent stretch, but it should not be painful. If you experience any discomfort, you should exit the stance.