"Ut" connotes 'intense', and "Tana" means 'stretch' in Sanskrit. In this pose the legs and spine are stretched, hence the name.
- Stand erect in Tadasana.
- Place your hands on your hips.
- Inhale and raise both your hands straight above the head, palms facing each other.
- Bend your body at the hips and bring your trunk down as you exhale.
- Keep bending further down.
- Bring your hands down towards the floor and place the palms on the floor.
- Stretch your back and the spinal column to the maximum.
- The buttocks should point upwards.
- Keep the knees straight.
- The head should be hanging down.
- Inhale and raise the trunk slightly.
- Exhale and bring it down.
- Remain in this pose for about a minute.
- To return, place your hands on the hips and then bring the trunk up with a long inhalation.
- If you have a back injury, avoid this pose.
- Knees, thighs and calves are strengthened.
- The spinal column gets extended, hence becomes flexible.
- Uttanasana calms the brain and helps relieve stress and mild depression.
- Hamstrings, hips and lower back get good exercise.