Raised Hands Pose


Urdhva Hastasana

This Sanskrit phrase can be understood as “urdhva,” meaning raised, and “hasta,” meaning hand. This “raised hand” pose is a simple, standing yoga asana with both of the hands raised.


How to: Raised Hand Pose

Begin with the universal, standing yoga pose of Tadasana, or Mountain Pose. Bend and stretch your arms outwards while your palms are facing away from the torso, with thumbs pointing backwards. Inhale and raise the arms from your sides, pointing them upwards towards the ceiling.

When you feel a tight stretching in your shoulders, it is a signal that you can stop, as your both arms will be in almost parallel alignment with each other. Do not hunch your shoulders in the front, and have your both palms pressing each other. While doing this, be certain that your hands touch leading with the palms, completing their union at the fingertips.
Next, stretch your arms from the shoulder, through the elbows, to the tips of your fingers, and try to make your thumbs point downwards to your head. Keep in mind to relax any stress at the back of your neck, looking at your thumbs directly while adjusting your head to tip slightly.

Then bring your ribs downwards towards your pelvis, increasing the length of your tail bone to the ground. Be sure that your lower front ribs are not protruding out while doing this pose. Finally, raise your rib cage gradually and far from the pelvis, to pull the belly’s circumference. Remain like this while retaining your breath.

To close, exhale and bring back your arms to your sides while you bring your torso forward.


Benefits of Raised Hand Pose

When Urdhva Hastasana, a simple and easy yoga pose, is included in your daily yoga sessions, you will reap the following benefits:

  • Stretching and sculpting of your belly.
  • Enhancement your digestive processes and metabolism.
  • Definition, openness and flexibility of your shoulders and armpits.
  • Reduction of stress, anxiety and tension.


For the beginner of yoga, this yoga pose’s primary focus is on the improvement of the arms, shoulders, abdomen and armpits. When beginners, especially those who have repetitive-motion injuries or have arthritis, face trouble while performing this yoga pose initially, they can tie a shoulder-width loop just above their elbows.  This will keep their raised arms straight so that they can readily experience the shoulder-healing benefits of this yoga pose. Practicing while standing next to a wall will facilitate stability and relaxation for those with tight shoulders.  Raised Hands Pose has been known to improve posture and open the shoulders of the practitioner.

Please consult with your health care provider and/or an experienced yoga teacher if you have any of the following health concerns or conditions:

  • If you have trouble raising your arms due to a shoulder injury.
  • If you have a medical history with neck injuries.


Enjoy the Raised Hands Pose while breathing smoothly, easily and deeply that your shoulders are free, open and healthy.

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