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Asana In Focus: Upward Salute

Urdhva Hastasana: Upward Salute.

We continue our exploration of how in Yoga we use physical posture to affect our mental state. Specifically, we use the arms and legs to gain access to the spine, the great highway of information that connects to the brainstem.

Upward Salute is something we do instinctively when we get out of bed or after sitting for a long period of time. Standing up and reaching arms overhead is the most natural way to feel rejuvenated.

Expose your sides to uncover your physical height and energetic might!



  • Establish Tadasana (Mountain Pose) – see suggestions from prior pose of the month for Tadasana.
  • Raising the arms, bring your awareness in to the stretch of the whole body from bottom to top – from feet up thru legs, side ribs, outer arm pits up the arms all the way through fingertips.
  • Draw length through the abdominal muscles (rectus abdominis) and intestines, to improve digestion and relieve anxiety.
    Notice where the body is complacent in its capacity to lift (arms raised not reaching, shoulders lifting instead of arms, chest collapsing, elbows buckling)
  • Encourage the external rotation of the upper arms, rolling biceps to triceps, to activate the lift thru the arms along with the chest, while enabling the shoulders to stay neutral.
  • Feel the actions of the arms informing the entire spine as it stretches and loosens, helping to clear up stagnation & congestion along the spinal nerves, rendering an immediate BOOST of ENERGY!