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Benefits of Uttana mandukasana and How to Do it By Dr. Himani Bisht

By Dr. Himani Bisht +2 more

Introduction: 

As ancient Indian texts teach us, Yoga is the “union of body, breath and mind”. The spiritual culture has now spread to every corner of the Earth. The traditions of Yoga span geographically and over centuries, but they all share one common thread. Connecting with oneself through Yoga is one way to lead a more peaceful and rewarding life.1 Sometimes, it takes a lot of other poses and adjustments before reaching the one that feels the best. It’s the same with life’s ups and downs; we take two steps forward. Balance is not just a pose or state; it’s a way of life.  

Yoga often sees the practice of asanas, one of which is Uttana mandukasana. Let us look at some exciting features and benefits of Uttana mandukasana. 

Uttana mandukasana

What is Uttana Mandukasana? 

Uttana mandukasana is also known as the stretched-up frog posture. The name has roots in the Sanskrit language, “Uttana” meaning upright, “Manduka” meaning frog and “Asana” meaning pose or posture. In English, the name translates to an upright frog pose. Uttana mandukasana also resembles an upright frog, hence the name. This asana is a variant of mandukasana/frog pose. The preparatory pose for Uttana mandukasana is Vajrasana (Thunderbolt pose), and the follow up pose is Balasana (Child’s pose).2 

How to do it? 

Uttana mandukasana must be done properly for maximum health benefits. One may perform Uttana mandukasana in the following manner: 

  • First, sit in Vajrasana (sit in a kneeling position with your hips on the heels and your toes pointing behind you; ensure your big toes should touch each other). 
  • Next, spread the knees wide apart. 
  • Raise the left arm, fold it from the elbow, swing it back above the right shoulder, and place the palm on the right shoulder blade. 
  • Similarly, fold the right arm and place it on the left shoulder blade. 
  • Hold this position for a while and then come back slowly in a reverse manner. 
  • Relax the whole body.2 

Do you know? 

  • The evolution of Uttana mandukasana started as early as 1920s and continues till date. 
  • This asana was first described in the Gheranda Samhita (Sanskrit text of yoga) in 1933.3 

Benefits of Uttana Mandukasana: 

Some benefits of this pose are as follows: 

Benefit of Uttana Mandukasana for managing cervical spondylosis 

Cervical spondylosis is a neurodegenerative disorder of the cervical spine. Neck and spinal exercises and various asanas like Uttana mandukasana help strengthen the muscles and may help relieve mild to moderate pain in conditions like cervical spondylosis. However, these claims are not proven in any study. Therefore, kindly consult a doctor for proper treatment of Cervical Spondylosis. Uttana mandukasana should not be considered a treatment prescription. Additionally, it is recommended to perform this asana under the guidance of a qualified trainer.4 

Benefit of Uttana Mandukasana for managing Text neck syndrome 

Text neck syndrome or Forward head posture (FHP) is a condition which is caused because of repetitive stress in the neck region due to long-term use of computer devices or smartphones. This condition can result in shoulder and neck pain, headaches and thoracic kyphosis (hunchback). Pranayamas and Yogasanas like Uttana mandukasana may help provide symptomatic relief from Text neck syndrome. However, limited studies are available that support the benefits of Uttana mandukasana for managing Text Neck Syndrome. Kindly consult a doctor to rectify Text neck syndrome. Uttana mandukasana should not be considered a treatment prescription. Additionally, it is recommended to perform this asana under the guidance of a qualified trainer.6 

Benefit of Uttana Mandukasana to manage stress 

The practice of asanas like Uttana mandukasana stretch and tone several muscles of the body and keep the entire system in radiant health. Uttana mandukasana when performed along with other Pranayamas may help revitalize the body and mind, leaving an individual calm and refreshed. However, further studies are required to confirm these claims. It is recommended to consult a doctor in case of any stress related issue, and not rely on this asana alone. Additionally, it is advised to perform this asana under the supervision of a qualified trainer.5 

Benefit of Uttana Mandukasana to manage arthritis 

Arthritis is a clinical condition characterized by joint swelling, stiffness and pain around joints. Uttana mandukasana may help people with arthritis by improving the joint flexibility and function. However, further studies are required to confirm these claims. Therefore, it is recommended to consult a doctor for proper treatment of arthritis; do not consider Uttana mandukasana as an alternative to modern medicine. Additionally, it is advised to perform this asana under the guidance of a qualified trainer.5 

Benefit of Uttana Mandukasana to manage asthma 

Asthma is characterized by chronic inflammation of the airways. Bhatt et al. conducted a study in 2019 on 32 patients to check the efficacy of yoga intervention on asthma. The yoga intervention included several asanas, including Uttana mandukasana and pranayamas. The results supported the practice of yoga may be beneficial for asthma. Thus, Uttana mandukasana, when performed along with other asanas and pranayamas, may benefit asthmatics. However, the claims need to be studied further. Kindly consult your doctor if you have asthma or complaints of breathlessness. One should not rely on Uttana mandukasana for the treatment of asthma. Additionally, it is advised to perform this asana under the supervision of a qualified trainer.7 

Benefit of Uttana Mandukasana on cognitive function 

Nagendra et al. conducted a study on 30 young individuals to assess the outcome of yoga intervention on cognitive skills. The yoga intervention included several asanas, one of which was Uttana mandukasana. Results supported that yoga asanas like Uttana mandukasana improved cognitive functions like attention, neural activity, cognitive function and performance enhancement. Thus, it may be possible that upright frog pose can help improve cognitive function. However, such studies need to be done on a larger scale to ensure these claims. Hence, it is recommended to consult a doctor in case of impaired cognition and not rely on this asana alone. Additionally, one should perform this asana under the guidance of a qualified trainer.8 

Other benefits of Uttana Mandukasana: 

  • May help stimulate the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system. 
  • May help in resolving menstrual problems including PCOS (Poly-Cystic Ovarian Syndrome).9 

Yoga practice may help develop the mind and body; however, it is still not an alternative to modern medicine. Therefore, you must not rely on Yoga alone to treat any condition. Instead, please consult a qualified doctor who will be able to assess your condition correctly and advise accordingly. Moreover, it is necessary to practice and learn Yoga under the supervision of a trained yoga teacher to avoid any injuries. 

From my perspective, practising Uttana Mandukasana may contribute to developing a more resilient and slender waist. However, it is important to maintain a consistent yoga practice and combine it with a balanced diet and overall healthy lifestyle for optimal results.

Dr. Siddharth Gupta, B.A.M.S, M.D (Ayu)

Risks of Uttana Mandukasana 

Conditions where the upright frog pose is to be done cautiously: 

  • People with hernia, arthritis and back problems should perform this asana only under the supervision of a qualified trainer.9 

Conditions where Uttana mandukasana is contraindicated are: 

  • Females who are pregnant or menstruating should avoid doing this asana. 
  • People with a disability in hip joint should avoid performing this asana.4 

As I have seen it, Uttana Mandukasana might be particularly beneficial for individuals with a displaced navel, especially when it is displaced upwards. This yoga pose may bring relief from the discomfort associated with a displaced navel. However, it is always advisable to consult with a qualified yoga instructor for personalised guidance and to ensure the pose is suitable in your specific condition.

Dr. Rajeev Singh, BAMS

Conclusion 

Uttana mandukasana is also known as the stretched-up frog posture due to its resemblance to an upright frog. This asana is a variant of the Mandukasana/Frog pose. The name has roots in Sanskrit words, “Uttana”, meaning upright, “Manduka” meaning frog and “Asana”, meaning pose or posture. In English, the name translates to an upright frog. Performing this asana may help in managing cervical spondylosis, asthma, stress and arthritis and possibly help improve cognition. 

Judging from my observations, Uttana Mandukasana may also help promote healthy flow of blood in the arteries, veins, and capillaries throughout the body. Thus, regular practice of Uttana Mandukasana may contribute to establishing a harmonious and balanced blood flow, supporting overall cardiovascular health.

Dr. Smita barode, B.A.M.S, M.S.

Frequently Asked Questions 

1) Which is the Upright frog pose in yoga? 

Uttana mandukasana is the upright frog pose. In Sanskrit, “Uttana” means upright, “Manduk” means frog and “asana” means pose. Therefore, Uttana mandukasana translates to Upright frog pose in English.2 

2) What are the benefits of Uttana Mandukasana? 

Uttana mandukasana can provide several benefits beyond the mat; this asana may help in managing cervical spondylosis, asthma, text neck syndrome, stress, arthritis and help improve cognition.4-8 

3) What are the steps of Uttana Mandukasana? 

First, sit in Vajrasana (sit in a kneeling position with your hips on the heels and your toes pointing behind you; ensure your big toes should touch each other). Now, spread the knees wide apart. Raise the left arm, fold it from the elbow, swing it back above the right shoulder, and place the palm on the right shoulder blade. In a similar manner, fold the right arm and place it on the left shoulder blade. Hold this position for a while and then come back slowly in a reverse manner and relax the whole body. 2 

4) What are the contraindications of Uttana Mandukasana? 

Pregnant or menstruating women, people with disability in hip joint and knee, back or shoulder pain should avoid doing this asana.4 

References: 

1. Mehra P, Anand A, Nagarathna R, Kaur N, Malik N, Singh A, Pannu V, Avti P, Patil S, Nagendra HR. Role of Mind-Body Intervention on Lipid Profile: A Cross-sectional Study. Int J Yoga. 2021 May-Aug;14(2):168-172. doi: 10.4103/ijoy.IJOY_51_20. Epub 2021 May 10. PMID: 34188391; PMCID: PMC8191221. 

Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8191221/ 

2. 21 June INTERNATIONAL DAY OF YOGA INTERNATIONAL DAY OF YOGA Common Yoga Protocol, Ministry of Ayurveda, Yoga & Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy (AYUSH) [Internet] 4th Revised Edition, May 2019. [Cited: 2022 Sep 10] Available from: https://mea.gov.in/images/pdf/common-yoga-protocol-english.pdf 

3. Kaivalyadhama S.M.Y.M.Samiti. Gheranda Samhita.Chapter II.3rd revised edition;53. Available at: 

https://terebess.hu/keletkultinfo/lexikon/Gheranda-Samhita.pdf

4. Yogic Management of Cervical Spondylosis. Morarji Desai National Institute of Yoga. 2019;4. 

Available at: 

https://mantrayogameditation.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/THERAPHY-FOR-CERVICAL-SPONDILISIS.pdf

5. The National Council of Educational Research and Training. (NCERT). Yoga for a healthy way of living; Unit-3: Yoga for Health Promotion. Noida: ; 2021 

Available at: https://cbseacademic.nic.in/web_material/Curriculum21/publication/srsec/Yoga_XII_Unit3.pdf 

6. S. Lakshmi Kandha et al. Yoga for management of text neck Syndrome. Journal of Advances and Scholarly Researches in Allied Education [JASRAE] (Vol:19/ Issue: 4) DOI: 10.29070/JASRAE 

Available at: http://ignited.in/I/a/306133 

7. Bhatt et al. THE ROLE OF YOGA THERAPY IN THE MANAGEMENT OF BRONCHIAL ASTHMA (TAMAKA SHWASA). Asian Journal of Pharmaceutical and clinical research. (Vol.12/Issue:12) Available at: 

https://innovareacademics.in/journals/index.php/ajpcr/article/view/35407

8. Nagendra H, Kumar V, Mukherjee S. Cognitive behavior evaluation based on physiological parameters among young healthy subjects with yoga as intervention. Comput Math Methods Med. 2015;2015:821061. doi: 10.1155/2015/821061. Epub 2015 Feb 11. PMID: 25759746; PMCID: PMC4339827.Available at: 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4339827/

9. School of yoga. UTTANA MANDUKASANA – UPRIGHT FROG POSE.2016 

Available at: https://schoolofyoga.in/yoga-asana/uttana-mandukasana 

Disclaimer: The information provided here is for educational/awareness purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical treatment by a healthcare professional and should not be relied upon to diagnose or treat any medical condition. The reader should consult a registered medical practitioner to determine the appropriateness of the information and before consuming any medication. PharmEasy does not provide any guarantee or warranty (express or implied) regarding the accuracy, adequacy, completeness, legality, reliability or usefulness of the information; and disclaims any liability arising thereof.

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