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Standing Yoga Mudra Pose (dandayamana yoga mudra)

Standing forward bend that stretches your shoulders, upper back and legs.
 

Standing Yoga Mudra Pose (or dandayamana yoga mudra) provides an intense stretch to your shoulders. This pose also stretches your upper back and legs, while helping to increase the flexibility of your spine and hips.
 
You can perform Standing Yoga Mudra Pose to help clear your mind, center your thoughts and become more aware of your feelings.
 
As you move into the pose, try to keep your palms together to maintain the intensity of the stretch in your shoulders. Stretching your arms back and up in this pose can help correct a rounded back and shoulders.
 
While holding the pose, you may find the stretch in the back of your legs too intense. Try standing with your feet further apart to reduce the strain. With regular practice of this pose, you should eventually be able to bring your legs closer together.
 
You should use caution performing this pose if you have high blood pressure or an injury to your neck, shoulders, back or legs.
 
Steps:
Begin in Mountain Pose.
Step your right foot to the right to position your feet slightly wider than hip width apart.
(Your feet should be parallel and your toes should be pointing forward.)
Interlace your fingers behind your back.
Press your hands down away from your shoulders to lengthen your arms.
(Feel your shoulder blades come together as your chest opens.)
Exhale as you bend forward from your hips.
(Allow your arms to lift up behind you.)
Bend your knees slightly to lessen the strain in your lower back and legs.
Raise your arms behind you as far as is comfortable for you.
(Your head moves further toward the floor as your arms move away from your body.)
Hold the pose for 30 seconds to 1 minute.
To come out of the pose, press out through your hands and keep your back flat as you lift your torso up.
 
I have difficulty interlacing my fingers behind my back. What can I do?
If you have difficulty interlacing your fingers behind your back, you can hold a strap with your hands as close together on the strap as is comfortable for you. Holding a strap puts less strain on your shoulders because your hands can be further apart.
 
How can I make this pose more challenging?
You can perform Yoga Mudra Warrior Pose, which is a more difficult version of Standing Yoga Mudra Pose. To perform Yoga Mudra Warrior Pose, begin in Warrior I Pose, with your front knee bent at a 90-degree angle. Then interlace your fingers behind your back and lean your torso forward over your bent leg, raising your arms up behind you. Only raise your arms as far as is comfortable for you.
 
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