Leg Lift, Extended
ŪRDHVA PRASĀRITA PĀDĀSANA (ऊर्ध्व​ प्रसारित पादासन​)
(OORD-vah prah-SAAH-ree-tah paah-dah-AHH-sah-nah)

 


‘Ūrdhva’= upward, ‘Prasārita’= spread out or expanded, ‘Pāda’= foot or leg, ‘āsana’= posture


Alternate Names

Upward Extended Feet Pose
Lifted Spread
Lifted Stretch
Stretch-Out Foot Pose
Raised Stretched-Out Foot Pose
Half Plow (Ardha Halasana)

Difficulty Level: Beginner
Pose Type: Supine / Stretch / Balance

1. Start in Corpse Pose (Savasana), except with your palms face down on the mat (Supine position).
2. Extend your arms overhead, with your palms facing the sky. Flatten your shoulder blades to your back.
3. Take a deep breath and then exhale as you bend at your hips to lift your legs up into a 90-degree angle over your hips. Use your core for balance.
4. With your bend in the shape of an ‘L’, you can either point your toes or flex your feet.
5. Hold the pose for about 20 seconds to increase strength, then release back into Corpse Pose (Savasana).

Common Adjustments
• Hyperextension of the knees
• Neck and shoulders tight / Shoulders up by the ears
• Shoulders off the mat / Shoulder blades not flat
• Head off the mat
• Lower back arched

Modifications
• For students with back discomfort, place a block, pillow, or bolster under the hips.
• For students with tight hamstrings and/or calf muscles, they can either practice against a wall or use a strap around the soles of their feet. A strap can also be used to help students build their core muscles.
• Students with a tight neck or shoulders, or a neck or shoulder injury, can either place a pillow under the head/neck or keep their arms by their sides, palms down, instead of extended overhead.
• For students who would like a deeper stretch in their hips, and have the flexibility, place sandbags on the soles of their feet.
• For advanced students, they can place their legs in Bound Angle (Baddha Konasana) or Forward Bend, Seated Wide Angle - Dragonfly (Upavistha Konasana).

Counter Poses
• Corpse (Savasana)
• Bridge (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana)
• Incline Plank (Purvottanasana)
• Camel (Ustrasana)
• Hero (Virasana)
• Heron (Krounchasana)

Anatomy
• Chest• Shoulders (Deltoids)
• Biceps and Triceps• Abdomen (Core) and Obliques
• Lower Back (Lumbar)• Hips (Iliopsoas and Psoas)
• Gluteus Maximus• Quadriceps and Hamstrings
• Calf muscles• Ankles

Benefits
• Stretches and strengthens the chest, shoulders, spine, abdomen, hips, groin, quadriceps, hamstrings, and calf muscles.
• Improves posture and spinal alignment, as well as soothes back stiffness.
• Stimulates the nervous system, which calms the brain, reducing stress and anxiety, as well as relieves mild depression, insomnia, and fatigue. This helps to boost energy, as well as encourages confidence, self-control, and acceptance; also helps with breath awareness and relaxation.
• Improves blood circulation and soothes headaches and/or migraines along with menstrual and menopausal discomfort.
• Helps improve urinary and respiratory disorders.

Contraindications
1. Students with severe hip or lower back injuries should avoid this pose or perform with caution, along with props, modifications, and guidance.
2. Students with severe pain and discomfort in the neck, have a weak lower back, are in the later stages of pregnancy, have glaucoma, or have high/low blood pressure should avoid this pose unless practiced with modifications, props, and guidance.

Chakras
Chakra One:Root or Muladhara (root support) Chakra. This is the survival and gravity chakra. Its goals are stability, grounding, prosperity, right livelihood, and physical health. Its location is the base of the spine, coccygeal plexus, legs, feet, and large intestines.
Chakra Two:Sacral or Svadhisthana (sweetness) Chakra. This is the chakra for emotion, sexuality, and attraction of opposites. Its goals are fluidity, pleasure, and relaxation. Its location is the abdomen, genitals, lower back, and hips.
Chakra Three:Solar Plexus, Self-Power, or Manipura (lustrous gem) Chakra. This is the combustion, power, and energy chakra. Its goals are vitality, strength of will, and purpose. Its location is the solar plexus.


Additional information on this asana can be found in your textbooks

  • In the textbook “Instructing Hatha Yoga – 2nd Edition With Web Resource” by: Diane M. Ambrosini, this posture can be found in Chapter 11 – Restorative Postures as “Viparita Karani – Restorative Legs-Up-the-Wall Pose”.
    • Watch the Chapter 11 video “Viparita Karani” found in the Web Resources that come with your textbook “Instructing Hatha Yoga – 2nd Edition With Web Resource” by: Diane M. Ambrosini. This video gives you an additional example of how to practice this asana.

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