Upward Salute

Last Updated: July 26, 2017

Definition - What does Upward Salute mean?

Upward salute is a standing yoga posture that energizes the body and awakens the mind. This is an important posture in vinyasa exercises and is also included in Sun Salutation (Surya Namaskara) sequences.

In this pose, the body is upright with the spine long. The arms extend overhead with the palms facing each other or touching. The feet can be together or held at shoulder-width.

Upward salute may also be known as upward hands pose, which is a literal translation of the Sanskrit name for the pose, urdhva hastasana.

Upward Salute

Yogapedia explains Upward Salute

Upward salute provides an energizing and awakening stretch for the whole body. It creates space in the spine, aligning the vertebrae and helping to protect the muscles and nerves around the spine. As such, it is a good preparatory pose for deep twists, stretches and backbends such as wheel pose. Upward salute also helps to imprint the movement patterns and alignment used for inversions such as handstand and downward-facing dog pose.

Upward salute is said to be a good posture for relieving physical ailments, including backache and indigestion. The space it creates in the chest area may be beneficial for people who suffer from asthma.

If the practitioner has neck or shoulder issues, the arms do not have to be raised over the head, and mountain pose (tadasana) can be practiced as an alternative. Pregnant women can widen their stance to improve stability.

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