Uttana Padasana – Uttana means stretched out or lying on the back with the face up. Pada means a leg.
- Lie flat on the back, keeping the feet together and the knees tight. Take 3 or 4 deep breaths.
- Exhale, raise the back off the floor and arch it up by stretching the neck and moving the head back until the crown of the head rests on the floor. If resting the crown on the floor proves difficult, bring the hands by the side of the head, raise the neck and pull the head as far back as possible by raising the dorsal and lumbar regions of the back from the floor. Then rest the arms at the side. Take 2 or 3 breaths.
- Stretch the back and with an exhalation lift the legs up until they are about 45 to 50 degrees from the floor. Raise the arms, join the palms and keep them parallel to the legs. The arms and the legs should be kept stiff and not bent at the elbows or knees. Keep the legs together at the thighs, knees, ankles and feet.
- Extend the ribs fully and remain in this pose for half a minute with normal breathing. The body should be balanced only on the crown of the head and the buttocks.
- Exhale, lower the legs and arms to the floor, straighten the neck, release the head grip, lower the trunk and relax lying flat on the back on the floor.
Effects of Uttana Padasana
Uttana Padasana gives full expansion to the chest wall and keeps the dorsal portion of the spine supple and healthy. It tones the neck and back and regulates the activity of the thyroids by ensuring their supply of healthy blood. The abdominal muscles are also stretched and strengthened.
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