Urdhva Mukha Paschimottanasana: Steps, Variations & Benefits

Image supply: Canva

Urdhva Mukha Paschimottanasana is a fusion of Paschimottanasana and Ubhaya Padangusthasana (each massive toe pose). It is without doubt one of the most vital poses within the main sequence of the Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga sequence.

This is a sophisticated pose as a result of involvement of an intense posterior stretch. In addition to stretching, it includes ahead bending and requires energy and stability to take care of the pose.

While holding this pose, the physique is balanced on the sit bones. The legs are stretched straight above the pinnacle and held by the palms.

This upward, intense stretching place of the legs additionally focuses on strengthening the again, core and pelvic muscle tissue. It additionally elongates the backbone and calms the nervous system.


Urdhva Mukha Paschimottanasana is a compound phrase with the next root phrases, that are derived from Sanskrit.

  • Urdhva means upwards or exalted
  • Mukha refers back to the face
  • Paschimo means again of the physique (west)
  • Uttana means intense stretching
  • Asana means pose.

The title itself sums up the posture by which the practitioner stretches his again and legs upward and intensely lifts his face to search for.

Also recognized from its English translation as Upward Intense West Stretch or Upward Intense Stretch Posture.

Urdhva Mukha Paschimottanasana train instruction

urdhva mukha paschimottanasana exercise instructionImage supply: Canva

To do that intense leg stretch pose, work on gaining much less energy and adaptability. Gaining experience in Paschimottanasana and Ubhaya Padangusthasana will come in useful.

Also, think about the next preparatory ideas earlier than you step into the pose.

Precautions and Contraindications

  • Avoid the pose with accidents within the decrease again, hips, Achilles tendon, knees, pelvis, or core muscle tissue.
  • Do not do Urdhva Padangusthasana whereas recovering from inner surgical procedure.
  • Skip this pose throughout being pregnant or menstruation.
  • An aged individual wants to hunt assist with props to carry out the asana.
  • Avoid it you probably have hemorrhoids, diarrhea, or irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
  • People with irregular blood stress ought to chorus from this angle.
  • Migraineurs should keep away from this follow.
  • Do not follow this pose for hernia or fibromyalgia.

Preparatory poses

How To Do Urdhva Mukha Paschimottanasana (Steps)

  1. Start by sitting in Dandasana and gently mendacity in your again.
  2. Inhale and lift your arms over you.
  3. Straighten your legs and elevate your hips. Bring your ft to your palms. Grab your soles together with your palms.
  4. Inhale and straighten your again.
  5. Exhale and roll onto your again to stability your physique on the sit bones.
  6. Find your stability at this level, take a breath and search for.
  7. Exhale and transfer your decrease stomach ahead. Bring your torso nearer to your legs.
  8. Bring your brow in your knees and relaxation your chin in your knees trying up.
  9. Hold the pose for 5 breaths.
  10. Inhale, lean barely away out of your legs and hold your gaze upright.
  11. Exhale, launch your palms, and bend your legs to achieve the ground.
  12. Take a deep breath and loosen up within the beginning place.

Follow up poses


  1. Using the Wall – This change is especially really useful for seniors. Here the wall is used to supply assist whereas holding the pose up. The ft or legs could be lifted off the ground and held subsequent to the wall.
  2. Yoga ropes – Tie two ropes and type a loop with each. Hang them over each side of your head. If you might be mendacity in your again, elevate your arms to carry onto the sling. Then carry your ft over your head and pull up the ropes. This provides exterior assist to make the pose simple to carry out.


urdhva mukha paschimottanasana II (supta paschimottanasana)urdhva mukha paschimottanasana II (supta paschimottanasana). Image supply: Canva

  • Urdhva mukha paschimottanasana II – This is the supine place of Urdhva mukha paschimottanasana with the chin resting on the knees. This technique is described in Iyengars Light on Yoga Plate 170.
    Lie in your again, straighten your legs, and lift your arms over you. Lift your legs off the ground and put your palms across the soles. Straighten your legs and produce them throughout the ground by widening your elbows. It can be known as Supta Paschimottanasana.

Urdhva Mukha Paschimottanasana leg variationUrdhva Mukha Paschimottanasana leg variation. Image supply: Canva

  • Urdhva Mukha Paschimottanasana leg variation- It is carried out on Urdhva mukha paschimottanasana after reaching the ultimate posture.
    Keep your chin in your left knee and bend your proper knee ahead together with your toes. The decrease leg is held perpendicular to the thigh. Keep your palms on the soles. Repeat on one other leg.

Therapeutic makes use of

  1. Urdhva mukha paschimottanasana brings calm to the mind by bettering blood move to the nerves. So useful in relieving stress and anxiousness.
  2. This posture is very really useful to assist forestall hernias.
  3. Urdhva mukha paschimottanasana additionally relieves the ache within the decrease again.
  4. It can be a strong leg and again stretch pose that may appropriate the posture errors. It was additionally used to get shapely calves.

Urdhva Mukha Paschimottanasana advantages

1. Strengthens the leg muscle tissue

Urdhva mukha paschimottanasana has an intense impact on the leg muscle tissue. It stretches the hamstrings, calves, and ankles. This will increase the blood move to those muscle tissue and finally makes them stronger.

2. Improves the pliability of the backbone

The integrity of the backbone is maintained all through the pose. This is adopted by rhythmic respiratory that directs the pranic move backwards and elongates the backbone. This improves the elasticity and energy of the backbone.

3. Tones the arms

Urdhva mukha paschimottanasana stretches your entire physique. Since the arms are additionally stretched whereas holding the pose, shoulders, arms, wrists and muscle tissue are skilled. It brings an elevated quantity of blood and oxygen to the muscle tissue, and the stretching that comes with it helps to tone them up.

4. Burns additional fats

This intense stretch works as a full physique exercise. It contracts the muscle tissue of the stomach, thighs, and buttocks, thereby releasing additional fats from these areas. Hence, it’s also useful to take care of the perfect physique weight.

5. Improves digestion

As you maintain the pose, the anatomical organs such because the abdomen and intestines are beneath excessive stress. Other inner organs such because the kidney, liver, spleen, and so on. are additionally stimulated.

It improves the effectivity of the digestive system and thus helps in bettering digestion.

6. Maintains the reproductive system

The pelvic area can be stretched whereas holding the pose. It stimulates the reproductive organs and promotes blood move to this area. Therefore, the reproductive organs are skilled and activated.

7. Stimulates the endocrine system

In Urdhva Mukha Paschimottanasna, the neck muscle tissue are stretched. It stimulates the thyroid on the base of the neck. It helps within the secretion of the thyroid hormone. Therefore, the endocrine system additionally advantages and regulates the metabolism.

8. Activates the sacral chakra

The sacral chakra can be stimulated by stretching the decrease stomach muscle tissue. Activating this power chakra helps keep higher relationships, brings pleasure and encourages creativity.


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