Supta Udarakarshanasana – Sleeping Abdominal stretch Pose
Supt Udarakarshanasana, or the Sleeping Abdominal Stretch Pose, is a part of the digestive/abdominal group of asanas and is a great way to exercise and stretch both back and abdominal muscles. This Yogasana, also called sleeping abdominal stretch pose, is good for people suffering from indigestion, excess wind or gas and back pain. Supt Udarakarshanasna provides suppleness to the spine as the entire spine is given a uniform twisting stretch in the final position. It removes energy blockages from the back and abdominal areas. In Sanskrit, ‘Supta’ means ‘lying down’ or ‘sleeping’, Udar means ‘abdomen’, Akarshan means ‘stretch’ and Asana means a ‘posture’.
Supta Udarakarshanasana Steps
- Spread a Yoga mat on the flat ground and lie flat on back with the legs together and straight.
- Keep the feet and knees together throughout the practice.
- In the starting position, the arms should be by the sides, palms facing down and head, neck, and spine should be in a straight line.
- Take 3 to 5 long and deep breaths.
- Bend the knees and place the sole of both feet resting flat on the floor in front of the buttocks.
- Interlock the fingers of both the hands and place the palms under the back of the head.
- Elbows must remain in contact with the floor throughout the practice.
- Inhale, and while breathing out slowly lower the legs to the right side of the body while trying to bring the knees down to the floor.
- The feet should remain in contact with each other all the time.
- At the same time turn the head and neck to the left side of the body.
- This is the final position wherein the entire spine is provided with a uniform twisting stretch.
- Remain in the final position for 3 to 5 seconds.
- Inhale and slowly raise both the legs back to the upright position.
- Repeat the same procedure on the left side to complete one cycle.
- Practice three rounds.
Supta Udarakarshanasana Contraindications
- People suffering from a spine injury, other severe back conditions or recent abdominal surgery should avoid practicing this pose.
- Do not overstretch or strain in the final position.
Supta Udarakarshanasana Benefits
- Supta Udarakarshanasana gives a good twisting stretch to the spinal muscles and hence relieve the stiffness from the tight lower back caused by prolonged sitting.
- The stretch so provided to the back makes it a very good yoga for lower back pain.
- One of the easiest abdominal exercises, this Sleeping Abdominal Stretch Pose provides an excellent stretch to the abdominal organs and muscles resulting in improved digestion.
- Regular practice of Supta Udarakarshanasana can eliminate constipation.
- It is good for releasing mental and physical stress.
- Supt Udarakarshanasana reduces excess fat from the abdomen and waist.
Practice Note For Supt Udarakarshanasana
In the Sleeping Abdominal Stretch Pose, the distance between buttocks and feet is very important. One can work on and provide adjustment to each individual vertebra and corresponding muscles by adjusting the distance of the feet from the buttocks. The distance of about 60 cm will stretch the lower spinal area. As the feet approach the buttocks, the stretch and adjustment will move up the spine. When the feet are next to the buttocks, the adjustment will be in the area of the cardiac plexus.
Supt Udarakarshanasana Sequence
Supt Udarakarshanasan should follow forward and backward bending asanas or those asanas which cause strain in the lower back.
This Yoga Stretch can also be best done after having done meditation or after having worked on the chair for a long period of time.
For the spinal stretch, you can also practice Shava Udarakarshanasanan –