Frequent stiff-back giving you a hard time? It’s time for you to explore some axial extension with yoga!
Urdhva and Adho are two prime signifiers in yoga, indicating “upward” movement with asanas that are named with the prefix of urdhva and “downward” motion with the one prefixed with Adho. The Upward Forward Fold is one of the foundational postures of the Urdhva group of asanas, featuring deep spinal lengthening, hip flexing, and an opening of the heart chakra and chest.
There is a savory ease of performance in this posture for which it is a popular feature in all beginner’s Hatha Yoga series. Plus, a mixed bag of mind-body benefits accompanies the regular practice. There also a number of modification and propping options to deepen and ease one’s experience of the Upward Forward Fold.
Here go some exclusive benefits of Urdhva Uttanasana to rescue your back, calves, and hamstrings after a hard day’s work and an exhausted mind—
Hip Flexion: Core Support and Knee Strengthening
The hip flexors are a group of muscles lining the pelvis and the waist. These are some of the strongest muscles in our body which are also pivotal in manning the direction of movement. We need them supple, strong, and activated when bending at the waist and finding support for knee movement. It is actually your hip flexors, more formally known as the ‘iliopsoas muscles’ doing the work when we are running, sprinting, kicking, doing the balancing act while standing inside a moving vehicle, or merely sitting down.
The Upward Forward Fold nurtures these muscles, ringing out the tension from the folds with its gentle massaging effect. You are bound to feel agiler in your everyday activities.
Posture Correction: Doing Away With the Post-Desk Hours Hunch
We are all familiar with the post-office hours slouch. After a long day sitting stiff and upright, with not much but a turn of the swivel-chair for ‘movement’, your back can be a real mess. Add to that, stress and anxiety which are invisible demons always breathing down in a workplace environment, unless one knows the art of tackling the same.
Let an intensive Upward Forward Fold pick up your posture and stretch out that awful post-work slouch. Your shoulders are thrown back, the spine stretched out and upright, the belly tucked in and chin’s up. Go off, attending your after-work parties gracefully.
Boosting Digestive Function: Gentle Abdominal Massage
Lack of movement doesn’t just cram up your joints but cramps up the digestion tract too. Bloating, constipation, indigestion –it’s all the things that you ever hated. What do you need on such a bad day, besides plenty of fluids and more digestive food of course? A nice session of Upward forward Bend. Benefit your digestion with a gentle massage with the plunge down, also helping matters move and churn at the abdominal level.
Though it’s not advisable to attempt this posture right after taking a meal, it is no issue getting down on the mat for a mild workout when in a torment of bloating or congestion. The digestive benefits of Upward Forward Fold are other reasons why it should be on your top ten restorative yoga chart. Nothing makes one feel happy and refreshed like digestive relief.
Heart Opening: Deep Oxygenation and Mood Lift
If you have ever gone to a yoga class then you know it. There are seven chakras or energy points- placed from the crown of one’s head to the base of the spine. The heart chakra is quite predictably located at the heart and it houses many emotional energy streams. If your heart chakra is constricted, you will feel troubled in loving, caring, and nurturing the relationships you partake.
One benefit of Urdhva Uttanasana is that it lets your heart expand and creates more space in the chest with deep inhales and exhales. Welcoming a torrid flow of oxygen, good mood shooting up instantaneously.
Head-wards Blood Flow: Cures Insomnia
The relationship between yoga and good sleep is built upon the de-stressing effect of yoga on the body and mind. Fresh, oxygen-rich blood flow, a restored and rebalanced hormonal constituency, and the re-discovered agility will help in curbing the typical fight-and-flight syndrome of stress. This, in turn, makes it favorable for getting a regular sleep. Urdhva Uttanasana is not an inversion but aids a gentle blood flow to the head when the down-bend completes and the head is allowed to hang loosely, inducing a rush of peace.
De-stressing helps one stay on a regular healthy routine of life with timely meals, rest, and sleep. That’s the biggest benefit of yoga!
To know about Urdhva Uttanasana in further detail, explore our Yoga Teacher Training In India.