By Dr Raghuram Y.S. MD (Ay) & Dr Manasa, B.A.M.S
In this pose the practitioner assumes the shape of a frog as if in an upright position and hence the name. It is a variant of Madukasana – frog pose. It needs more stretching than Mandukasana.
Uttana = Upright
Manduka = frog
Asana = pose
It is also called as stretched up frog pose or extended frog pose since uttana also means to stretch up or to extend. This pose helps in correcting postural defects, tones up muscles and sets right functions of many systems.
Read – Health Benefits Of Yoga: Mind And Body
Preparation for Uttana Mandukasana
- Uttana Mandukasana is done early morning or on empty stomach. If it is not possible to do the asana in the day time, it can be done in evening too.
- If the pose is practiced at evening or some other part of the day the practitioner should take food 4-6 hours before performing the pose.
- The bowel and bladder should be kept empty before beginning the pose.
Method of doing
- Start by sitting in the Vajrasana – thunderbolt pose.
- Be comfortable.
- Spread knees wide apart while the toes remain together.
- Raise your right arm. Fold it and take it backward from above the right shoulder. Place palm below left shoulder.
- Similarly raise your left arm. Fold it and take it backward from above the left shoulder. Place your palm below right shoulder. (This means to tell that your arms are crossed behind your head and your palms are placed on the upper part of the opposite shoulder blades.)
- Keep back and neck straight.
- Be in this position for few breaths or for whatever time you are comfortable being in.
Release from the asana
Modification and variation
If you are comfortable doing it, you may bring in the below mention variation and modify your pose.
- The chin touches the chest wall as in Jalandhara Bandha
- One can also perform Jalandhara, Uddiyana and Moola Bandha in this pose
- While in the pose you need to look up towards the ceiling or gaze in between your eyebrows.
Watch this video to follow the method of doing Uttana Mandukasana
Health Benefits of Uttana Mandukasana
Below mentioned are the benefits of Uttana Mandukasana –
- Gives stretch to the throat muscles and nerves, relieves throat pain
- Gives good stretch to the upper and lower back muscles, makes back muscles flexible, relieves back pain and strain, Helps cure sciatica
- Stretches the elbow joints and hence good for elbow health
- Gives good stretch to the knee joints, strengthens the knees and the muscles in the vicinity
- Relieves shoulder and neck pain, cures cervical spondylosis
- Strengthens the spine, strengthens all cervical, thoracic and lumbar regions
- The pose also stretches the diaphragm effectively and also the chest region. This facilitates easy breathing. As a consequence it relieves respiratory congestion and diseases. It also helps in efficient functioning of lungs.
- Removes extra fat accumulated in the belly region, enables you to become slim and keeps you healthy and fit
- Helpful for reproductive health and keeps up the health of ovaries and testis
- Helps in resolving the menstrual problems
- Enhances circulation in the chest and abdominal walls, tones abdominal muscles
- Improves functional efficiency of pancreas
- Strengthens sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system If one practices Ujjayi Pranayama, there is enormous strengthening of the lower respiratory tract
- Helps in relieving stress and anxiety
- Activates the sacral chakra
Time spent in doing this pose
Hold in this pose for 3-10 counts or as long as you are comfortable doing it. Repeat for 3-6 times.
Impact on Chakras
Uttana Mandukasana opens up and activates the the swadhishtana chakra i.e. spleen or sacral chakra which is the center of pleasure, enjoyment and creativity. The activation of this chakra promotes focus, inner acceptance and productivity. It also awakens the Kundalini energy.
Read – Chakra – Kundalini: Introduction, Meaning, Types, Location, Ayurveda View
Patients suffering from below mentioned conditions should avoid doing Uttana Mandukasana
- Chronic and severe back problems
- Knee arthritis, knee problems
- Elbow pain
- Severe shoulder pain
- Spinal cord deformities
- Disabilities of hip joints
Women should not practice this asana during pregnancy or during menstruation.
Impact of Uttana Mandukasana on doshas and tissues
Impact on Doshas – Since this pose stretches the chest and facilitates easy breathing it is beneficial for balancing udana vata and avalambaka kapha in the chest region. Being beneficial for reproductive health and since it resolves the menstrual problems; it is beneficial to balance apana vata functions. Since it is good for health of nerves and nervous system and relieves stress and anxiety, it balances prana vata. It also balances prana vata – tarpaka kapha – sadhaka pitta axis.
Impact on tissues – This pose strengthens and stretches the muscles. It also strengthens the bones and joints of the body and spine. It is good for the health of testes and ovaries. It helps in reducing excessive fat stores from the body. It also helps in proper blood circulation. Therefore uttana mandukasana is beneficial for the rasa tissue, muscles, fat, bones, joints and sperms and ovum and the channels transporting or manufacturing them.