During Yoga Asanas (Poses) practice a huge emphasis is laid on Uttanpadasana (Raised Leg Poses) of both kinds – Eka Pada Uttanpadasana (Single Raised Leg Poses) and Dwi Pada Uttanpadasana (Double Raised Leg Poses). In this article, I will answer in detail the following most commonly asked questions on both Single and Double Raised Leg Poses in Yoga.
Uttanpadasana (Raised Leg Poses) are specially meant for those of you who sit on a chair all day due to work and suffer from tightness or reduced muscle length – especially for beginners. It is also good for strengthening your core, for constipation and for navel displacement. You can also get rid of stiffness in your calf and hamstring muscles making them more flexible.
They are one of the first few Supine Yoga Postures (Asanas) before you proceed to various forward bending asanas. They prepare you for stretching your back muscles. And, are the easiest and gentlest manner to stretch and warm-up before you do all the 12 Basic Yoga Postures (asanas). Click here for 12 Yoga Poses Chart with Steps.
In this article the questions listed below have been answered in detail:
1. What is Uttanpadasana or Raised Leg Poses?
2. How do you do Uttanpadasana or Raised Leg Poses – Steps, Variations and Common Mistakes?
3. How many degrees of angle does the leg make while performing Uttanpadasana?
3. What are the benefits of Uttaspadasana?
4. How many leg-raises a day for a flat belly?
5. Is it recommended to do Uttaspadasana for constipation and for Navel Displacement?
How to do Uttanpadasana (Raised Leg Poses) in Yoga
What is Uttanpadasana or Raised Leg Poses?
Uttanpadasana or Raised Leg Yoga is an extremely important Yoga Pose for back strength, flat belly and digestion. It is a popular Yoga Pose amongst youngsters. Uttanpadasana – means: Uttana = raised upwards, Pada = leg. Thus making is a Raised leg Yoga sequence divide din two parts – Single Raised leg and Double raised legs.
In case you have severe back issues you may have difficulty in practising this Basic Yoga Posture (Asana). Thus, assess your health condition with a Certified Yoga Trainer or a Consultant before you learn ho to do Uttanpadasana.
Eka Pada Uttanpadasana (Single Raised Leg Poses)
“WINNERS are not people who never fail, but people who NEVER QUIT.”
Meaning of Eka Pada Uttapadasana; Eka = Single, Pada = Leg, Uttanapadasana = Raised Leg .
Poses with variations for Beginners and Advanced
Always follow the Step by Step Instructions on the Correct Way to do Single and Double Leg Raises. Remember to breathe in and breathe out at the correct time of the Yoga posture for full benefits of Uttasapadasana.
Single Raised Leg Pose – Eka Pada Uttanpadasana
How many Single-Raised Leg Poses a day: 3-5 times each leg alternatively
Uttana Padasana is one of the Easy Yoga Asanas for beginners who want to build muscle strength in your legs and abdomen. Always remember to coincide your breath with the movement. Thus, inhale slowly as long as you take to raise the leg and as you lower the leg exhale as long as it takes to lower the leg. Never raise or lower your leg in jerks. Yoga is all about gently stretching your muscles and feeling the pull.
Lie down on your back on the Yoga Mat. Stay in the Shavasana or Corpse Pose (See pic above) before you bring your legs together and place your hands next to your sides – palms facing down. Keep your chin towards your chest.
As you inhale bring the right leg up to 90 degrees slowly counting 4. Your foot is flexed, with toes pointing back towards your head. See Image above.
Tip: Avoid, to press your other leg or palms into the yoga mat. Instead, use the muscles in your abdominal area to lift the leg.
Hold the leg up to a count of 4. As you lower the leg keep exhaling to a count of 4. Remember, when you touch your heel to the yoga mat – relax your face and legs.
Repeat the above with alternate leg 3-5 times.
VARIATION of Eka Pada Uttanpadasana (Single Raised Leg Pose) for ADVANCED practitioners
Inhale and raise the right leg and then stretch your hands forward and clasp the leg in both your hands gently pulling it towards you while your head is kept down. As you hold the pose take a few breaths in and out.
While exhaling keep clasping your right leg or foot with both hands, lift your back off the mat, and try to bend forward by bringing your chest and head close to the raised leg.
Inhale and bring your head back to the mat and bring your right leg over your head. Then exhale and gently lower your leg and arms back to where you started.
Tip: In case you want to increase the stretch, stay in the position with your leg up, while you keep inhaling and inhaling while holding up in the pose. Then, release with an exhalation.
Continue to bring up the alternate leg and lower it until you complete 3-5 times for each leg.
Watch – your breathing!
How long should you hold the Pose?
When you raise each leg hold the pose for a count of 4 or for three breaths. When you are Holding the Pose – keep breathing deeply in and out. Remember, to hold yourself in the pose as long as you are comfortable. Do not stress yourself if you cannot.
With time and regular Yoga Practice, your stamina will certainly improve!
If you are a beginner and have flexibility issues – do not worry! NEVER – pull your legs up or straight – by force.
Variation for Beginners:
If you feel uncomfortable doing this Yoga Pose, you can still do Eka Pada Uttanpadasana (Single Raised Leg Pose) by following the variation for beginners below:
Try bending your one knee and placing the foot flat on the yoga mat. Keep the leg in this position while you raise your other leg.
Always follow the step by step instructions to know the correct way to do Single and Double leg raises.
- Your knees are bent.
- Pulling too hard, straining or lifting your head too soon.
- Your toes are pointed away.
- Shoulders and neck muscles are tensed.
- This basic Supine Yoga Pose strengthens the back and abdominal muscles.
- It is beneficial for those of you who suffer from indigestion as it cures you of acidity and constipation.
- If you suffer from navel displacement – Uttanpadasana is the best Yoga Pose to practice.
- Prepares you for other Yoga Asanas (Poses) to be followed in the sequence.
Dwi Pada Uttanpadasana (Double Raised Leg Poses)
How many Double-Raised Leg poses a day: 6-10 times a day
“Believe in yourself and that you are. Know that there is something inside you that is greater than any obstacle.”
Meaning of Dwi Pada Uttapadasana; Eka = Single, Pada = Leg, Uttanapadasana = Raised Leg .
One of the most demanding of the supine exercises is Dwi Pada Uttanpadasana (Double Raised Leg Poses). Demanding – especially if your abdominal muscles are not developed. It is okay if as a beginner you may not be able to bring both your legs up or keep them straight. You can raise both legs by slightly bending your knees. In this case, straighten the knees once your legs are up.
In case you have a weak lower back or abdominal muscles – you could try interlocking your fingers and placing them on your abdomen as if they are an “extra set” of muscles. Each time you lift your legs up – you can press the fingers down. No matter what, always keep your buttocks and lower back on the floor.
Remember, if you suffer from severe neck and back problems or sciatic pains – this Yoga Exercise is not meant for you. Moreover, always follow the step by step instructions to know the correct way to do Dwi Pada Uttanpadasana (Double Raised Leg Poses) in Yoga.
As you are lying on your back on the yoga mat bring your legs together and place your hands on your sides on the yoga mat with palms facing down. Chin towards the chest.
Tip: In case there is a need – either, lock your fingers and keep them on your abdomen or, keep your hands under your buttocks to support your back.
With your back flat on the mat – inhale as you slowly bring both legs up to 90 degrees to a count of 4. Always, remember to bring your legs up slowly and gently without using too much pressure and not jerking them up. Keep your awareness towards your lower back so that it stays flat on the mat. Exhale and bring your legs down to a count of 4. Repeat this 6 -10 times as per your comfort.
How long do you hold the Pose?
After you raise both legs – you can hold the pose for a count of 4 or count 2-3 breaths as per your comfort. When you are Holding the Pose – keep breathing deeply in and out.
CAUTION – Dwi Pada Uttanpadasna Double Raised Leg Poses
In case you have neck or severe back problems – do NOT do this supine exercise. If you suffer from sciatic pain, never attempt Dwi Pada Uttanpadasana (Double Raised Leg Pose).
VARIATION for Double Leg Raises for ADVANCED practitioners
Once you do this supine double exercise regularly – your abdomen muscles will become strong. Thus, you can go for advanced Variation to the Double Leg raises.
Lift your hands upwards while in the supine posture. Clasp your hands behind your head. Keep chin facing the chest and flex your feet. (See Image Below)
Inhale while you lift both the legs to a 90-degree angle.
Bring both legs down as you exhale.
How many times leg raises a day are recommended?
Repeat the double leg raises 6-10 times a day as per your capacity.
After the Supine Exercise is over – follow it by relaxation technique or Shavasana for 3-4 minutes before you start the next Pose in Sequence called Surya Namskar. To know more how to do Shavasana or Corpse Pose Click Here
- Straining to lift the legs or arching your back while bringing the legs up.
- If your neck is arched.
Tip: Your back must be kept straight even if you can lift your legs just 1 inch off the floor. Remember, keeping your chin towards your chest – keeps the cervical portion of the spine flat on the mat.
To avoid mistakes, always follow the step by step instructions to know the correct way to do Single and Double leg raises.
Benefits of Dwi Pada Uttanpadasana (Double Raised Leg Poses):
Do Uttanpadasana (double leg raises) help you strengthen your lower back and abdominal muscles?
Yes, they do help you lose weight and also help you lose belly fat.
- Weight Loss: This Supine Yoga Exercise will surely help you lose weight especially on your lower belly and sides of the abdomen.
- Back Pain Relief: Initially it may make your lower back feel a little tender, But, with regular practice your lower back, hip and thigh muscles will become stronger. It is an excellent Yoga Pose for increasing flexibility in your hip joints.
- Suffering from Hernia? Uttanpadasana (Double Raised Leg Poses) is the best Yoga pose to cure hernia.
- Navel Displacement is a very uncomfortable feeling. This pose helps to balance your navel (Nabhimaniporachakra) and overcome the problem.
- Your legs become stronger by double Raised Leg Pose.
- Lastly, it helps in releasing bloating or gas in the abdomen and intestines. Because, it releases gastric juices and enzymes – helping you improve digestion and overcome constipation.
Yoga is all about the sync of breath and movement with the intention of your mind. Thus, never let any one of the three get ignored while practising the Poses. The Correct Way to do Eka Pada Uttanpadasana and Dwi Pada Uttapadasana Yoga Poses is more important than the speed or number of times you do the Supine Exercises. The article above also tells you when to hold the pose and how many times a day to do leg raises.
Therefore, do it in the proper sequence always follow the correct way to do leg raises. Practise the Poses (Asanas) before you start the other Basic Yoga Poses (Asanas). Sequence to Follow for Basic Yoga Poses
Relax and do Pranayama (Breathing exercises Kapalbahati and Anuloma Viloma) before you start with the both the Supine Leg Raises Exercises for best benefits.
HAPPY LEG LIFTING!
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