Uttana Padasana

Definition - What does Uttana Padasana mean?

Uttana padasana is an intense stretch of the legs. The terms comes from the Sanskrit uttana, meaning “intense stretch,” pada, meaning “leg” or “foot,” and asana meaning “pose” or "posture."

To enter the pose, lie on the floor backside down and raise the hands over the head. Keeping the feet together tightly at the arches with toes pointed towards the ceiling, lift both legs in the air on an inhale, keeping the torso on the floor and allowing the lower back to arch slightly, if needed. The chin should be tucked towards the neck. For the advanced practice of this pose, lift the torso off the floor to whatever degree is comfortable, dropping the head carefully to touch the floor, if possible. For both the beginner and advanced variations of this pose, keep the legs together and straight, holding the breath for as long as is comfortable (do not bend the knees). To exit the pose, exhale and lower the legs as well as upper body, if practicing the advanced version, to the floor.

Uttana padasana is also known as raised legs pose in English.

Yogapedia explains Uttana Padasana

As part of a spiritual practice, this asana is thought to encourage peace and ease feelings of irritation. It is also believed to open up the throat, or visuddha, chakra as the neck is lengthened in the fullest expression of the pose. As blood flow is increased to the heart and neck, it is thought to encourage love and self-assurance.

In addition to opening the visuddha chakra, this asana is also thought to open the solar plexus (manipura) and the root (muladhara) chakras. The manipura chakra is often associated with energy, willpower and accomplishment while the muladhara chakra is believed to govern instinct, courage and survival as it awakens the kundalini.

Individuals may wish to practice this pose in repetition, raising the legs at different height intervals each time. Those who have lumbar issues or who have had abdominal surgery should complete an alternate version of this asana, where one leg is raised at a time.

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