Udarakarshanasana (abdominal stretch pose)

Udarakarshanasana (abdominal stretch pose)

Technique

  1. Sit in the squatting position with the feet apart and the hands on the knees.
  2. Breathe in deeply.
  3. Breathe out, bringing the right knee to the floor near the left foot.
  4. Using the left hand as a lever, push the left knee towards the right, simultaneously twisting to the left.
  5. Keep the inside of the right foot on the floor.
  6. Try to squeeze the lower abdomen with the combined pressure of both thighs.
  7. Look over the left shoulder.
  8. Hold the breath out for 3 to 5 seconds in the final position.
  9. Breathe in when returning to the starting position.
  10. Repeat on the other side of the body to complete one round.
  11. Practice 5 rounds.

Awareness

On the breath synchronized with the movement and the alternate stretch and compression of the lower abdomen.

Variation

Those who have difficulty balancing, may support their backs against a wall while squatting. The heels should be about 20 cm from the wall to allow for the twist.

Benefits

This pose is very useful for abdominal ailments because it alternately compresses and stretches the organs and muscles of this region. It also relieves constipation.

Practice note

This is one of the asanas practiced in shankhaprakshalana. During this practice, the breathing may be reversed to increase the pressure of the thigh against the abdomen. Take care not to over stretch the back as the body begins to feel lighter and more flexible.