[Pose Of the Week] Standing Back Bend Pose (Beginner)

Stretch your spine, core, and upper body & build core and back strength in Standing Back Bend Pose…

Standing Back Bend Pose (Hasta Uttanasana) – also known as Raised Arms Pose – is similar to the related Upward Salute Pose, but extends the spine further into a backbend as you stand.

This pose offers a nice stretch for the entire torso, including the abdomen, arms, shoulders, chest, and more. It also builds strength in the legs, core, and spinal muscles, tones the arms, increases range of motion in the shoulders and spine, and is thought to open the Third-Eye Chakra.

Be sure to keep your core slightly engaged to protect the lower back in this pose. To modify the pose, separate your feet and/or hands to shoulder width, bring your hands to your lower back as you bend, or hold your hands behind your hips and interlace your fingers.

Those with shoulder injuries or neck pain should keep the arms at the sides, or press the hands together in prayer mudra rather than lifting them overhead. Those with neck, hip, or spinal injuries, or who have high blood pressure or vertigo should skip this one.

How to Do Standing Back Bend Pose:

  1. Stand in Tadasana.
  2. Squeeze your legs together like they are one leg.
  3. Lift your arms overhead as in Upward Salute Pose (hands together, arms straight). Look up at your hands.
  4. Shift your hips forward slightly and push down with your legs. Tone your pelvic floor (Mula Bandha).
  5. Tone your belly. Move the space around your navel back towards your spine (Uddiyana Bandha) and move the front bottom edge of your rib cage down towards your back body.
  6. Lift and lengthen through the sides of your torso, lift through your sternum, and bend backwards.
  7. Focus on flexing your erector spinae muscles. These muscles run lengthwise along either side of your spine and are your primary back-bending muscles.
  8. Lift through your sternum, lengthen through your neck, and look up. Do not throw your head back but keep your neck muscles engaged so you can breathe evenly.
  9. Stay here for a couple of breaths.
  10. To come out of the pose, lift your sternum up and forward as you bring your arms forward and back down to your sides in Tadasana.

You may wish to counter this pose by following it with a forward bending pose, such as Wide Leg Forward Fold, or Child’s Pose.

Learn More at AdventureYogaOnline.com


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