Supta Udarakarshanasana (sleeping abdominal stretch pose)

Supta Udarakarshanasana (sleeping abdominal stretch pose)

Technique

  1. Lie in the base pose.
  2. Bend the knees and place the soles of both feet flat on the ground, directly in front of the buttocks.
  3. Keep the knees and feet together throughout the practice.
  4. Interlock the fingers of both hands and place the palms under the back of the head.
  5. While breathing out, slowly lower the legs to the right, trying to bring the knees down to the floor.
  6. The feet should remain in contact with each other, although the left foot will move slightly off the floor.
  7. At the same time, gently turn the head and neck in the opposite direction to the legs.
  8. This will give a uniform twisting stretch to the entire spine.
  9. Hold the breath in the final position while mentally counting three seconds.
  10. While breathing in, raise both legs to the upright position.
  11. Keep the shoulders and elbows on the floor throughout.
  12. Repeat on the left side to complete one round.
  13. Practice 5 complete rounds.

Breathing

Exhale while lowering the legs to the sides. Hold the breath in the final position. Inhale while raising the legs.

Awareness

On the breath, the mental counting in the final position and the twisting stretch on the paraspinal and abdominal muscles.

Benefits

This asana gives an excellent stretch to the abdominal muscles and organs, and thereby helps to improve digestion and eliminate constipation. The twisting stretch of the spinal muscles relieves the strain and stiffness caused by prolonged sitting.

Variation

Bend the knees and bring the thighs up to the chest. Interlock the fingers and place them behind the head. Roll the body from side to side, keeping the elbows on the floor.