(Urdhva Hastasana): Techniques, Benefits, Variations

Level – Beginner

Upward Salute Pose

(Urdhva Hastasana)

Upward Salute Pose Prep & Practice

1

Beginning in Mountain pose (Tadasana) at the top of the mat. Arms and palms externally rotate, palms face away from the body. Spread fingers, energize hands and arms.

2

On an inhalation, arms sweep slightly forward and up toward the ceiling. Ankles, knees and hips aligned vertically. Low abs firm in and up, ribcage lengthens away from hips finding length in the front, sides and back of torso.

3

Shoulders stacked over hips, biceps firm in toward each other, fingers engaged and spread wide. Chin parallel to floor or gaze slightly lifted, jaw relaxed.

4

Breath is steady, legs, abdominals and arms energized and engaged, soften tops of shoulders away from ears.

5

To come out of the pose, on an exhalation, lower the arms back to Mountain (Tadasana).

Variations/Modifications

  • Squeeze block between thighs 
  • Goal post arms, arms wider or forward of shoulders (tight shoulders)
  • Hands in prayer above head (anjali Audra)
  • Tadasana (neck or shoulder injury)

Physical, Mental and Emotional Benefits

  • Strengthens stabilizing muscles in feet, ankles and thighs
  • Aligns ankle, hip joint and shoulder joint
  • Opens the chest
  • Relieves mild anxiety
  • Tones low abs and strengthens biceps and shoulders
  • Grounding

Contraindications

  • Difficulty Standing 
  • Shoulder or Neck Injury (see modifications)
  • Toe, foot or ankle injuries

Thoughtful Sequencing

Mountain (Tadasana), Extended Standing Pose (Urdhva Hastasana), Standing Forward Bend (Uttanasana), Standing Half Forward Bend (Ardha Uttanasana), Standing Forward Bend (Uttanasana), Extended Standing Pose (Urdhva Hastasana), Mountain (Tadasana).

Want more yoga pose tutorials? See more in my Yoga Pose Directory.

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