Utthita Namaskarasana

Definition - What does Utthita Namaskarasana mean?

Utthita namaskarasana is a squatting posture that challenges both balance and flexibility. Derived from Sanskrit, utthita means “extended,” namaskara means “greeting” or an offering of respect, and asana means "pose."

In this pose, the yogi begins in malasana. Placing the hands on the floor, one leg extends to the side then the hips release toward the mat. The hands are lifted to the heart center in prayer position. The pose is held for a cycle of one to three breaths then repeated with the opposite leg.

Utthita namaskarasana is known in English as extended leg squat pose.

Yogapedia explains Utthita Namaskarasana

Utthita namaskarasana is a more challenging variation of malasana, which helps to release the muscles of the hips and stretch the backs of the legs.

Traditionally, utthita namaskarasana is believed to activate the muladhara (root) chakra. Opening the muladhara provides stability and grounding, helping the yogi to feel more connected to the earth. Working with this chakra is associated with the most basic human needs and instincts. When this chakra is activated, the yogi feels secure, and able to worry less from day to day.

As a modification for this pose, the hands can be placed on the ground, or yoga blocks may be placed under the hands for increased accessibility.

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