Raised Arms Pose

Last updated: December 21, 2023

What Does Raised Arms Pose Mean?

Raised arms pose is the name used for several related basic yoga postures or variations that lengthen the spine, improve posture, and stretch the arms and shoulders. A variation of raised arms pose is included in all Sun Salutation (Surya Namaskara) vinyasas.

From a standing position, the arms are raised overhead. Depending on the variation, the palms may face each other or be pressed together, and the spine may remain straight or include a gentle backward arch. The gaze may be straight ahead or upward.

Raised arms pose is also known in Sanskrit as hasta uttanasana.

Raised Arms Pose


Yogapedia Explains Raised Arms Pose

The Sanskrit names of some asanas that may be called a raised arms pose include:

  • Hasta uttanasana – Literally translated as “hands intense stretch pose,” this asana is practiced with an arched back and the arms raised overhead with palms touching. The gaze is toward the sky.
  • Urdhva hastasana – Translated as “upward hands pose,” this asana is practiced with a straight spine and the arms raised with the palms facing. The gaze is forward.
  • Urdhva vrksasana – Meaning “upward tree pose,” this asana is practiced with a straight spine and the palms touching. The gaze is toward the thumbs.

Although these are common descriptions of each raised arms pose, the names may be used interchangeably depending on the style of yoga and the tradition. For example, hasta uttanasana may describe the pose with a straight spine. Raised arms pose may also be considered a variation of mountain pose.

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