Upward Forward Fold

Last Updated: March 31, 2020

Definition - What does Upward Forward Fold mean?

Upward forward fold is a basic yoga posture that aligns and lengthens the spine. This posture is often included in the Sun Salutation vinyasa following forward fold, or uttanasana.

From mountain pose, fold from the waist with the arms reaching toward the ground and then raise up until the back is parallel to the ground. Arch the back slightly and turn the gaze toward the ceiling. The fingertips should touch the ground, but if this is not possible, the hands can rest on the shins or knees.

Upward forward fold is also known by its Sanskrit name, urdhva uttanasana.

upward forward fold

Yogapedia explains Upward Forward Fold

Upward forward fold offers the following physical benefits:

  • Stretches the muscles along the back of the legs
  • Opens the chest
  • Boosts the nervous system
  • Stretches the back muscles and the hips
  • Improves digestion

Upward forward fold is also believed to be therapeutic for headaches, menstrual symptoms, asthma and fatigue. Yogis who have back or shoulder injuries should avoid this pose, as should pregnant yoginis. Those with limited flexibility or balance issues may use yoga blocks to support the hand position.

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