Ustrasana is an intermediate level back-bending yoga posture known to open Anahata (Heart chakra). This posture adds flexibility and strength to the body and also helps in improving digestion.
Benefits (from yogajournal.com)
- Stretches the entire front of the body, the ankles, thighs and groins, Abdomen and chest, and throat
- Stretches the deep hip flexors (psoas)
- Strengthens back muscles
- Improves posture
- Stimulates the organs of the abdomen and neck
- Kneel on the floor with your knees hip width apart.
- Rotate your thighs inward slightly, narrow your hip points, and firm but don’t harden your buttocks. Press your shins and the tops of your feet firmly into floor.
- Rest your hands on the back of your pelvis, bases of the palms on the tops of the buttocks, fingers pointing down. Use your hands to spread the back pelvis and lengthen it down through your tailbone. Then lightly firm the tail forward, toward the pubis.
- Inhale and lift your heart by pressing the shoulder blades against your back ribs while you gaze forward or gently lean your head back and lift your chin.
- As you release, take a rest on the knees or lower into child’s pose.
- Increase the challenge of Ustrasana by performing the pose with your thighs, calves, and inner feet touching.
- For the full expression, lower your hands to the soles of the feet. Keep lifting and leading with the heart.
- Tuck your toes under and elevate your heels
- Rest each hand on a block
- Alternate reaching each arm back