Urdhva Hastasana (Upward Salute) & Standing Backbends

Urdhva Hastasana
Urdhva Hastasana

Urdhva Hastasana

Upward Salute

Hasta Uttanasana

Raised Hands

Also known as: Raised Arms Pose


Standing Backbend

Extended Tadasana

Extended Mountain Pose

Naming Conventions

  • In Urdhva Hastasana, the spine is lengthened up.
  • Urdvha Hastasanamay also be called Talasana (Palm Tree Pose).
  • Names for a Standing Backbend includeHasta Uttanasana (Raised Hands Pose), Extended Tadasana (Extended Mountain Pose) and Anuvittasana (anuvitta = found, obtained).
  • When Anuvittasanais used, it is usually “translated” simply as Standing Backbend.

Surya Namsakar

These poses are an element of Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutations) and the many vinyasa variations from Sun Salutes. Some sources teach Upward Salute in their vinyasas and some teach a Standing Backbend.

  • Most sources use a Standing Backbend in the Classical (Lunge) Salute and Urdhva Hastasanain Surya Namaskar  Joseph and Lilian LePage clearly use this approach in Yoga Teachers’ Toolbox 2005 pgs 11-12 (referring to the Standing Backbend as Extended Tadasana).
  • Sources that teachSurya Namaskar with Urdhva Hastasana include:
    • David Swenson,Ashtanga Yoga: The Practice Manual 1999 p 17 (Surya Namaskar A – Swenson does not call the pose by name but simply demonstrates it—with no backbend.)
    • Silva Mehta,Yoga: The Iyengar Way 2009 pgs 146-147 (Surya Namaskar A)
    • Martin Kirk & Brooke Boon,Hatha Yoga Illustrated 2006 pgs 210-211 (Both Surya Namaskar A and Classical Sun Salute)
    • Beryl Bender Birch,Power Yoga 1995 pgs 63-71 (Urdhva Hastasana with palms together & gaze up, Surya Namaskar A)
  • Sources that teachSurya Namaskar with a Standing Backbend include:
    • Swami Satyananda Saraswati, Asana Pranayama Mudra Bandha2008 pgs 162-174 (Classical Sun Salute)
    • Dharma Mittra,Asanas: 608 Yoga Poses 2003 pgs 24-35 (Classical Sun Salute)