Uttanpadasana – The Raised Leg Pose
Uttanpadasana or the Raised Leg Pose is beneficial for those suffering from lower back pain. In Sanskrit the meaning of Uttanpadasana is the raised leg pose. Uttanpadasana is an excellent exercise to strengthen the abdominal muscles and the lower back. It is relatively easy to practice.
Those suffering from high blood pressure should avoid this pose. Also those who have an ulcer or have undergone recent abdominal surgery should avoid this asana. Those who have a slipped disc should consult a doctor before doing this.
How to do Uttanpadasana (The Raised Leg Pose)?
- Lie on your back on your yoga mat. Relax the whole body and breathe normally.
- Turn the palms downwards against the floor.
- Breathe in slowly and raise the legs. Take the legs to an angle of about 45 degrees from the ground. In Uttanpadasana, there are variations where one can go beyond to 60 degrees or even 90 degrees depending on the benefit that one seeks. Do not bend the knees while raising the legs.
- Hold the legs in the position for few seconds to start with. In the initial stages one may not be able to hold it beyond few seconds. Lot of pressure is felt on the abdominal muscles as the muscles may not be strong enough to hold it for long. With practice, you can hold the leg in the raised position for even a minute. Increasing the duration should be done over a period of day or weeks. If the abdominal muscles starts to jerk, release the pose and come back to the flat position, the relaxation pose. Never strain beyond your capacity.
- When strain is felt in the abdomen, lower the legs and relax.
- Repeat this about 3 – 5 times.
- Uttanpadasana can also be practiced with one leg. Alternate the legs during such a practice.
Benefits of Uttanpadasana (The Raised Leg Pose)
- Uttanpadasana strengthens the abdominal muscles, the 6 pack abs muscles.
- The pressure on the abdominal wall tones all the organs in the abdomen.
- It strengthens the lower back muscles helping to relieve lower back pain. It also strengthens the hamstring muscles.
- Uttanpadasana improves the functioning of the digestive organs. It improves digestion and removes constipation.
- It is also good for the pancreases and those who suffer from diabetes.
- For women, it is a good pose for strengthening the walls of the uterus. But, you should avoid it during menstruation. During pregnancy you should avoid it during the initial stages. However you can consult your doctor if you want to practice it with caution during the later stages of pregnancy.
- It can remove gas and acidity problems.
- Uttanpadasana can help to reduce weight around the abdomen.
- It improves the functioning of the reproductive organs.