Urdhva Hastasana (Upward Salute) & Standing Backbends – Overview
- Features: Urdhva Hastasana (Upward Salute), and related poses such as Hasta Uttanasana (Raised Hands), Anuvittasana (Standing Backbends), Extended Tadasana (Extended Mountain)
- Objective: Become knowledgeable about the pose and review detailed teaching considerations.
- Description: Explain the Sanskrit naming; contraindications and cautions; associated benefits and typical effects; instructions and cues for setting up and practicing the pose; variations to meet particular intentions and needs; and more teaching considerations.
Also known as: Raised Arms Pose
Extended Mountain Pose
- In Urdhva Hastasana, the spine is lengthened up.
- Urdvha Hastasana may also be called Talasana (Palm Tree Pose).
- Names for a Standing Backbend include Hasta Uttanasana (Raised Hands Pose), Extended Tadasana (Extended Mountain Pose) and Anuvittasana (anuvitta = found, obtained).
- When Anuvittasana is used, it is usually “translated” simply as Standing Backbend.
- Some sources teach Upward Salute in their vinyasas and some teach a Standing Backbend.
- Most sources use a Standing Backbend in the Classical (Lunge) Salute and Urdhva Hastasana in Surya Namaskar A. Joseph and Lilian LePage use this approach in Yoga Teachers’ Toolbox 2005 pgs 11-12 (referring to the Standing Backbend as Extended Tadasana). link
Sources that teach Surya Namaskar with Urdhva Hastasana include:
- David Swenson, Ashtanga Yoga: The Practice Manual 1999 p 17 (Surya Namaskar A – Swenson does not call the pose by name but simply demonstrates it—with no backbend.) link
- Silva Mehta, Yoga: The Iyengar Way 2009 pgs 146-147 (Surya Namaskar A) link
- Martin Kirk & Brooke Boon, Hatha Yoga Illustrated 2006 pgs 210-211 (Both Surya Namaskar A and Classical Sun Salute) link
- Beryl Bender Birch, Power Yoga 1995 pgs 63-71 (Urdhva Hastasana with palms together & gaze up, Surya Namaskar A) link
Sources that teach Surya Namaskar with a Standing Backbend include:
- Stretches abdomen
- Stretches shoulders & armpits
- Expands lungs
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