Last updated: December 21, 2023

What Does Utthan Mean?

Utthan is a Sanskrit word that means “to stretch out,” “to stretch upward” or “to endeavor to rise.” In the context of yoga, it is used to indicate a posture that involves an intense stretch or an upward stretch.

In the social context, utthan is a term that organizations and social service projects use to refer to providing those in need with a chance to rise above their circumstances. For example, Utthan is a nonprofit organization in India that works with vulnerable populations like women and minorities to improve the quality of life and offer equal opportunities.


Yogapedia Explains Utthan

In yoga, utthan poses not only provide a physical stretch, but challenge the yogi mentally, emotionally and spiritually. Some examples of utthan poses include:

  • Utthan pristhasana (lizard pose) – From forearm-balance plank pose, one leg steps forward so that the sole of the foot rests on the ground just outside the corresponding elbow.
  • Uttanpadasana (raised legs pose) – From a supine position, the legs are pressed together and lifted until the feet point skyward.
  • Eka pada uttanasana (one leg lift pose) – From a supine position, one leg is raised straight until the foot points skyward.
  • Uttanasana (standing forward bend) – From a standing position, the yogi folds at the waist until the forehead reaches the knees.

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