Arm Variations

Urdhva Baddha Hastasana (Upward Bound Hands Pose)

Level: All levels
Category: Arm Variation

Urdhva = upward. Baddha = bound. Hasta = hand.

With the arms bent, the muscles of the chest and armpits can soften, allowing the ribcage to lift and open. Also, with the hands holding the elbows and upper arms, it becomes possible to pull the upper arm bones up out of the shoulder girdle, creating a little more softness and a little more space.

Organizing the Pose

    • Raise the arms up into Urdhva Hastasana (Upward Hands Pose).
    • Bend the elbows and grab each elbow with the opposite hand.
    • Lift the ribs up off the hips.
    • Draw the elbows up out of the sides with the fingertips.
    • Hold the position for several breaths.
    • Change the crossing of the elbows so the other elbow comes in front.
    • Hold the position for several breaths.

    Practice Points

      • Keep the shoulders stacked up over the hips, the hips over the heels.
      • Keep the back ribs broad. Prevent the front ribs from poking forward.
      • Broaden the tops of the shoulder blades.
      • Move the armpits down while you move the arms up.
      • Let go of the need to bring the arms all the way up alongside the ears if it means jutting the ribs forward.