How to Do Supta Udarakarshanasana or The Sleeping Abdominal Stretch Pose & Its Benefits

Understanding The Supta Udarakarshanasana or The Lying Abdominal Stretch Pose!

Supta Udarakarshanasana gets its name from Sanskrit where “Supta” means “lying down” or “sleeping”, “Udara” means “abdomen”, “Akarshan” means “pull” or “stretch” and “Asana” is a “pose” or “Posture”.

Supta Udarakarshanasana or The lying abdominal stretch pose improves digestion and is gives flexibility of the spine. This pose involves abdominal twisting and helps in relieving back pain as well.

Supta Udarakarshanasana or The Sleeping Abdominal Stretch Pose is very useful to relieve the anxiety and frustrations of the whole day. You will immediately feel relaxed after practicing Supta Matsyendrasana. It relieves you of all the anxiety and frustrations of the day. Since it is a twist and twists are a great way to decompress and squeeze out the imbalances and disturbances and make you feel composed and refreshed.

It is a spinal twist which stimulates the mobility and movement in the entire spine and relieves pain in the back also helps in improving digestion.

The Sleeping Abdominal Stretch Pose is a resting and restorative phase which detoxifies the whole body and internal organ while the body is resting in a twisted position. Regular practice of Supta Matsyendrasana can relieve lower back pain and tight shoulders.

It is considered best when Supta Udarakarshanasana or The Sleeping Abdominal Stretch Pose is practiced early in the morning. However, if because of some reason, you are not able to practice it in the morning, you can practice Virasana in the evening as well. It should also be made sure that you should have your meals at least four to six hours before you do the asana so that your food gets digested.

How To Do Supta Udarakarshanasana or The Sleeping Abdominal Stretch Pose Yoga Pose?

  • To practice Supta Udarakarshanasana or The Sleeping Abdominal Stretch Pose, lie straight on the ground or on the yoga mat on your back.
  • Bend the knees and place the soles of both feet flat on the ground to get into The Sleeping Abdominal Stretch Pose.
  • Make sure that the knees lie directly in front of the buttocks while getting into directly in front of the buttocks.
  • While practicing directly in front of the buttocks keep the knees and feet together throughout.
  • Interlock the fingers of both hands and place the palms under the back of the head while practicing Supta Udarakarshanasana or The Sleeping Abdominal Stretch Pose.
  • While breathing out, slowly lower the legs to the right while practicing this pose.
  • While practicing the same, try to bring the knees down to the floor.
  • Make sure that your feet should remain in contact with each other while practicing the pose.
  • In this position while practicing Supta Udarakarshanasana or The Sleeping Abdominal Stretch Pose, your left foot will move slightly off the floor.
  • At the same time, gently turn the head and neck in the opposite direction to the legs while practicing The Sleeping Abdominal Stretch Pose.
  • It will give a uniform twisting stretch to the entire spine.
  • Hold the breath in the final Supta Udarakarshanasana or The Sleeping Abdominal Stretch Pose while mentally counting three seconds or for a few breaths.
  • While breathing in, raise both legs to the upright position while practicing Supta Udarakarshanasana.
  • Keep the shoulders and elbows on the floor throughout while practicing this pose.
  • Repeat on the left side to complete one round of Supta Udarakarshanasana.
  • You can practice 5 complete rounds of this pose.
  • Beginners should try to stay in this position for 1-2 minutes or until your legs and feet start feeling discomfort.
  • Advanced practitioners should stay in this pose for 3-4 minutes or for as long as you can.
  • After the practice, rest your body in Shavasana for 1-2 minutes.

Breathing Pattern To Be Followed While Practicing Supta Udarakarshanasana or The Sleeping Abdominal Stretch Pose Yoga Pose

  • Inhale while bending your knees initially.
  • Exhale deeply while stretching the arms at shoulder length on both sides of the body.
  • Inhale while taking your bent knee to the other side of your body.
  • Exhale, while stretching your spine in this final position.
  • Maintain the breath in final position.
  • Inhale while bringing knees and chin to your chest.
  • Exhale deeply in this position.
  • Maintain a normal breath while staying in this position for as long as you can.
  • Exhale deeply after releasing the pose and resting in Shavasana.

Preparatory And Follow-Up Asanas To Be Practiced With Supta Udarakarshanasana or The Sleeping Abdominal Stretch Pose Yoga Pose

Preparatory Poses: The various preparatory poses to be practiced before Supta Udarakarshanasana or The Sleeping Abdominal Stretch Pose yoga pose are Setu Bandasana or the Bridge Pose and Pawanmuktasana or The Wind Relieving Pose.

Follow-Up Poses: Various Follow-Up poses to be practiced after Supta Udarakarshanasana or The Sleeping Abdominal Stretch Pose yoga pose are Savasana or The Corpse Pose and Supta Baddha Konasana or The Reclining Bound Angle Pose.

Awareness While Practicing Supta Udarakarshanasana or The Sleeping Abdominal Stretch Pose

Physical Awareness – The Physical Awareness while practicing Supta Udarakarshanasana or The Sleeping Abdominal Stretch Pose should be on the back, abdomen or breathing process and the intestines and the twisting stretch on the paraspinal and abdominal muscles.

Spiritual Awareness – The Spiritual Awareness while practicing Supta Udarakarshanasana or The Sleeping Abdominal Stretch Pose should be on Swadhisthana Chakra or The Sacral chakra which desire, pleasure, sexuality and procreation. The primary energetic focus in this pose is on Swadhisthana Chakra or The Sacral chakra. This asana helps in opening and balancing of the sacral chakra. The key to opening the second chakra is to maintain balance when it comes to pleasurable, worldly things.

Benefits of Practicing Supta Udarakarshanasana or The Sleeping Abdominal Stretch Pose Yoga Pose

  • Supta Udarakarshanasana or The Sleeping Abdominal Stretch Pose yoga pose twist your spine and vertebrae like a sponge thus strengthening them and giving them flexibility.
  • It massages the abdominal organs and stimulates the digestive system thereby helping in improving digestion.
  • It also helps in relieving constipation with regular practice.
  • Supta Udarakarshanasana relieves stiffness or pains in your spine, hips, or lower back.
  • The Sleeping Abdominal Stretch Pose yoga pose helps in relieving stress and anxiety. It calms the mind and gives freshness to the whole body after a stressful day.
  • The Sleeping Abdominal Stretch Pose yoga pose helps in detoxification of the internal organs of the body.
  • It also helps in improving blood flow to the body thereby helping in flushing out of toxins from the body.
  • Supta Udarakarshanasana or The Sleeping Abdominal Stretch Pose yoga pose gives your shoulders, chest, middle spine, hips, lower back, and upper back a good stretch. It strengthens them and improves their flexibility.
  • It improves the blood circulation in the body and improves metabolism as well.
  • The Sleeping Abdominal Stretch Pose also helps in strengthening muscles of the back and spine.
  • The Sleeping Abdominal Stretch Pose is one of the best asanas to loosen p hamstring muscles.
  • Supta Udarakarshanasana or The Sleeping Abdominal Stretch Pose stimulates the spleen, liver and kidneys thereby improving their functioning.
  • With regular practice, Supta Udarakarshanasana makes the hips flexible.
  • It also improves the functioning of Endocrine and Nervous system with regular practice.
  • The Sleeping Abdominal Stretch Pose also helps in removing fat around belly and hips.

Precautions And Contraindications While Practicing Supta Udarakarshanasana or The Sleeping Abdominal Stretch Pose

  • People having spinal problems like degenerative disk diseases should not practice Supta Udarakarshanasana or The Sleeping Abdominal Stretch Pose as it may worsen the condition and cause more pain.
  • You should also avoid practicing this pose if you have a recent or chronic injury to your knees or hips.
  • If you have any doubts about your condition, consult a physician before practicing Virasana or The Hero Pose and always practice asana under the supervision of a trained yoga expert.
  • Do not over exert yourself while practicing Virasana. Do not push yourself beyond the limits. Go only as far as your body allows.
  • Pregnant females should not practice the pose as it gives an intense stretch to the abdominal muscles.
  • People who have had any recent abdominal surgeries also should not practice Supta Udarakarshanasana or The Sleeping Abdominal Stretch Pose.
  • Do not practice The Sleeping Abdominal Stretch Pose if you do not feel comfortable during the practice.
  • Do not overdo this pose if you feel pain in your body.
  • Start the practice mildly and then increase the repetitions as per your capacity.
  • If you have any doubts about your condition, consult a physician before practicing Supta Udarakarshanasana and always practice asana under the supervision of a trained yoga expert.
  • Do not overexert yourself while practicing Supta Udarakarshanasana or The Sleeping Abdominal Stretch Pose. Do not push yourself beyond the limits. Go only as far as your body allows.
  • Supta Udarakarshanasana should be avoided by those who have any kind of injury to hip, knees and spine.

Tips While Practicing Supta Udarakarshanasana or The Sleeping Abdominal Stretch Pose

  • While practicing Supta Udarakarshanasana or The Sleeping Abdominal Stretch Pose, if you are not able to rest your knees on the ground easily, place your knees and feet on a large pillow.
  • If the twist feels too deep for your lower back while practicing Supta Udarakarshanasana or The Sleeping Abdominal Stretch Pose, first try placing a pillow between your knees or move your knees below the height of your hips. To deepen your twist, place your right hand on your left knee and press your knees down.
  • To increase the twist even further try to pull your knees up towards the under arm and continue to keep your right shoulder from lifting off the ground.
  • You should always be aware of the effect of twist on your spine, back, and abdomen. If you feel any sharp and stabbing pain, stop the pose and come out of the pose immediately. Be gentle while leaving the pose.
  • Do not force the twist if your body can not take it while practicing Supta Udarakarshanasana or The Sleeping Abdominal Stretch Pose as you may end up damaging any other muscle while exerting excessive stress on the body.
  • Advanced practitioners can deepen the pose by wrapping your right foot around the left calf muscles. Move your hips slightly to the right, and drop your knees to the left. Then, bring your legs back to the center and repeat the asana on the opposite side.
  • By adjusting the distance of the feet from the hips while practicing Supta Udarakarshanasana or The Sleeping Abdominal Stretch Pose, you can work on each vertebra and the corresponding muscles.
  • To intense the stretch advanced practitioners can vary the distance while practicing Supta Udarakarshanasana or The Sleeping Abdominal Stretch Pose. When the distance is about 60 cm, the stretch will be concentrated to the lower spine. As you decrease the distance the stretch will move up the spine. When the heels are touching the hips then the stretch will be in the area of the cardiac plexus.

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