Yoga Journal

How to move from Urdhva Hastasana to Adho Mukha Vrksasana

Urdhva Hastasana

Urdhva = Raised · Hasta = Hands · Asana = Pose

Upward Salute


BENEFITS Teaches extension from the ground up; lengthens your side waist; strengthens your arms and shoulders


1 From standing, bring the balls of your feet to touch, leaving a narrow space between your heels. Ground down through the four corners of each foot. Lift and spread your toes—this will help you lift your arches and inner ankles and get a sense of where your midline is. Then engage your quadriceps. Maintain the lift in your arches and legs as you release your toes down.

2 Neutralize your pelvis by anchoring your tailbone toward your heels and moving the tops of your buttocks down. This helps prevent an exaggerated curve in the lumbar spine and keeps the lower front ribs from splaying out, which can interfere with maintaining a strong line of extension in both Upward Salute and Handstand.

3 Inhale your arms out to your sides, parallel to the floor. Exhale to externally rotate from the top of your humerus bones, where your arms insert into your shoulders. Draw the bottom tips of your shoulder blades toward your spine, widen your collarbones, and broaden your chest.

On an inhalation, raise your

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