Uttanapadasana: Steps, Variations, Benefits, and Contraindications

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Updated: March 16, 2023

The Uttanapadasana or Raised Legs Pose (Raised Legs Yoga Pose) reduces excess fat in your abdominal region, buttocks, and thighs.

The pose gives strength to all the reproductive organs, and extremely beneficial for lower belly fat, flat stomach.

Uttanapadasana (Raised Legs Pose) provides good remedy and prevention for digestive and intestinal disorders, and balances the Manipura Chakra, hence balancing the Samana Vata and Pachaka Pitta located in these organs.

As it relieves constipation, abdominal and intestinal gases and flatulence and also strengthens the reproductive system and balances the Muladhara Chakra it balances Apana Vata.

The pose enables good blood circulation in the neck and heart regions, balances the Vishuddha Chakra and hence balances Udana Vata and Avalambaka Kapha. It improves overall circulation in the body and brings calmness to the body, hence Vyana Vata is good for balancing.

In addition, it calms the nervous system, is good for the nerves and spinal cord, relieves stress and anxiety, it also balances the Prana Vata and the Prana-udana-samana Vata axis.

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Information

Known as:Uttanapadasana, Utthanpadasana, Raised Legs Pose, Extended Foot Pose, Dwi Pada Uttanpadasana, Both Leg Raised Pose
Sanskrit name:उत्तानपादासन
IAST:Uttānapādāsana
Pronunciation:oot-AHN-ah pah-DAH AHS-anna
Level:Intermediate
Type:Supine
Total time:30 to 120 seconds
Drishti:Forward;
Third eye
Chakra:Vishuddha chakra, Muladhara chakra, Manipura chakra
Focus:Back, Abdominal, Legs
Indications:Backaches, Hernia, Digestion, Indigestion, Abdominal organs, Reproductive organs, Acidity, Constipation, Flatulence, Intestinal gases, Navel
Counterpose:Downward facing dog pose (Adho mukha shvanasana)
Preparatory poses:Single leg raised pose (Eka pada uttana padasana), Corpse pose (Shavasana), Fish pose (Matsyasana)
Follow-up poses:Shoulder stand pose (Sarvangasana), Legs up the wall pose (Viparita karani)
Contraindications:High blood pressure, Abdominal surgery or acute abdominal pain, Back pain (excess), During pregnancy, During menstruation cycle, Ulcer and slipped disc

Meaning

Uttanapadasana derived from the Sanskrit name that made from three words — Uttana + Pada + Asana:

  1. Uttana” = “raised (upwards) ”
  2. Pada” = “leg or foot”
  3. Asana” = “pose or posture”

In the Uttanapadasana, the legs are raised upward, hence its name Raised Legs Pose.

Benefits of Uttanapadasana (Raised Legs Pose)

The physical and mental benefits are listed below:

  1. Physical Benefits:
    • Strengthens the back, nerves, spinal cord, hips, and thighs
    • Strengthens the inner abdominal finer muscles (6 pack abs muscles)
    • Stretches hips, butt, and thighs
    • Stretches and strengthens the hamstring muscles
    • Helps burn fat from the lower belly region and lower abdominal sides
    • Effective for hernia problems and overcome nervousness
    • It helps to strengthen the intestines
    • Boosts the metabolism of the body
    • Helps in balances Nabhimanipurcakra (naval)
    • It helps to release an adequate amount of gastric juices, enzymes, better for digestion
    • Prevents indigestion, acidity, constipation, flatulence, and releases the intestinal gases
    • Good for people suffering from pancreas and diabetes
    • Good for women, it strengthens the walls of the uterus
    • Squeezes the sexual organs and, it helps to get rid of stress hormones
    • Increases blood circulation in the lower part of the body, thereby provides relief in conditions like low sex drive (libido) and ejaculation
  2. Mental Benefits:
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Instruction to Uttanapadasana (Raised Legs Pose)

Variation 1

Uttanapadasana (Raised Legs Pose) variation 1 - sharp muscle
© image: Instagram/Soham

Instructions:

  1. Begin by lying on the back. Breathing should be normal and hands should be kept straight on the floor, but palms should be facing down.
  2. Then slowly raise the leg at an angle of 30 to 45 degrees and while doing this, inhale.
  3. Make sure the legs are straight, and the upper body is parallel to the floor.
  4. Try to hold this position until you feel pressure in the abs, if possible for 15–20 seconds and do not do much in the beginning, try to increase the time with consistency and time.
  5. Exhale when you want to come back to the starting position, you should relax. Make sure that the legs are straight while practicing Uttanpadasana in the above steps.

Variation 2

Uttanapadasana Raised Legs Pose Variation 2 - sharp muscle
© image: Instagram/Isabelle Whyte

Instructions:

  • Lie on the floor facing the ceiling.
  • Keep your legs spread apart, feet close to each other, tightly on the arches, toes pointed up towards the ceiling.
  • Place your upper limbs on the side of your body, close to it, with palms down.
  • Inhaling, raise both your legs in the air while inhaling. While doing this, keep your torso on the floor. Allow your lower back to arch slightly.
  • Tuck the chin towards your neck. Squeeze your thighs together and tuck the stomach in. Reach through the toes such that your toes point towards the ceiling.
  • Your feet are at an angle of about 30 degrees to the floor. If you gradually get comfortable with the pose and when you feel the body is flexible enough, you can increase the angle from 30 degrees to 45 or 60 degrees.
  • Stay there for 30 to 160 seconds, or when you feel comfortable doing it.
  • To release yourself from the pose, slowly lower both your feet to the floor together. Breathe easily and relax.
  • Repeat this process 8-10 times.
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Precautions and contraindications

Pain and surgery

  • Don’t practice Uttanpadasana if you are suffering from abdominal pain or any serious back injury.
  • Also avoid Raised Legs Pose if you have recently had surgery on your spinal problems on the lower vertebrae, back and groin.
  • Lifting one leg at a time instead of both may be appropriate for people with lumbar issues or who have had abdominal surgery.

Low blood pressure and high blood pressure

If you suffer from low blood pressure and high blood pressure, avoid practicing the raised leg pose. If you also want to practice this pose, then first consult a doctor and then do this yoga posture.

Pregnant women

If you are pregnant, and if you have recently given birth to a baby, do not practice the Raised Legs Yoga Pose. Skip practice this pose in the first few months, then consult your doctor and then try this pose and then continue the pose.

During the menstrual cycle

Do not practice the Uttanpadasana during your menstrual cycle.

Ulcer and slipped disc

The pose should be avoided during ulcers and slipped disc.

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