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Benefits of Uttanasana (Standing Forward Bend Pose) and How to Do it By Dr. Himani Bisht

By Dr. Himani Bisht +2 more


We are very keen on physical exercise and all age groups are very much interested in doing physical exercise to have a healthy life and increase their life expectancy. You have to agree that when a person is doing exercises throughout all stages of life tends to have a healthier, happier, and longer life. You all are familiar with yoga and ancient times around 500 BC to 800 AD is a prominent period for yoga. Yoga is a science of living which focuses on spiritual discipline which brings harmony between body and mind. Yoga consists of several asanas, including adopting various body positions that bring stability to the body and mind. Yoga creates awareness of one’s structural existence.1 In this blog, we bring one such asana Uttanasana, that you may add to your daily exercise to stay active and healthy. 

uttanasana yoga pose

Did you know?

  • Regular practice of Uttanasana can help alleviate back pain and improve spinal flexibility.Source: ncbi
  • Uttanasana can help improve digestion and relieve symptoms of gastrointestinal disorders. Source: ncbi
  • The study confirms that changes in body position during yoga exercises, such as Uttanasana, lead to changes in IOP. source: cdc.gov

What is Uttanasana?  

Uttanasana is an easy, standing yoga pose.2 

In Sanskrit, ‘Ut’ means intense, ‘tan’ means stretch or extend, and ‘asana’ means pose or posture. Uttanasana yoga is a pose that intensely stretches the entire back of the body, including the spine, hips, and hamstrings. Hence, Uttanasana is also called the Standing forward bend pose.3 

Uttanasana pose consists of standing with feet together, bending the upper body at the hips and allowing the head to hang downwards. The body is supported by both palms keeping them on the floor beside the feet. 

Also Read: Benefits of Butterfly Pose (Baddha Konasana) and How to Do it By Dr. Himani Bisht

How to do it? 

You may practice Tadasana (mountain pose) as a preparatory pose to perform Uttanasana posture.4 The following steps will guide you to do Uttanasana: 

  • Start with a standing position, keeping your spine straight and balancing your weight equally on both feet two inches apart. 
  • Inhale and extend your arms above your overhead. 
  • Exhaling, stretch the body from the waist and bend forward from the hips with a flat back. Then, slowly fold down towards your feet.  
  • Keep the spine straight and do not let it curl as you fold your upper body till the trunk gets parallel to the floor.  
  • If you have difficulty bringing your trunk parallel to the floor, you may bend your knees and bring the chest towards your thigh as much as possible. 
  • Keep your legs and spine extended. Allow your hands to rest on the ground beside your feet. 
  • Now, exhale and move your chest towards your knees, lifting your hips and tailbone a little higher.  
  • Allow your head to relax, moving it gently towards your feet.  
  • Focus on your deep breathing action and hold this final posture for 10-30 seconds. 
  • To return to the original standing pose, inhale and stretch your arms forward and in the upward direction. Then, slowly raise to a standing position.  
  • Exhale and place your arms down to the sides. This completes one round of Uttanasana yoga.4 

Do You Know? 

Here are a few exciting things to know about the Uttanasana pose: 

  • Uttanasana posture is a very inward-going pose. It may spiritually take you to your inner self and teach you to overcome external unpleasantness.5  
  • A young yoga enthusiast, Teena Rani from Ayodhya, Uttar Pradesh, bagged herself a World Record for the longest performance of Uttanasana yoga. On 21 June 2021, she performed Uttanasana (Standing forward bend yoga) for thirteen minutes and fourteen seconds.6 

Also Read: Benefits of Makarasana (Crocodile Pose) and How to Do it By Dr. Ankit Sankhe

Benefits of Uttanasana 

Uttanasana may offer many health benefits if performed correctly by engaging the targeted muscles. Some of the potential benefits of Uttanasana posture are described as follows: 

1. Benefits of Uttanasana for the Spine 

If you are a person who sits in the office for longer durations and are affected by the harmful effects of a sedentary lifestyle. You must try Uttanasana to keep your spine younger which provides an intense stretch and gives a great extension to the back. Hence, it might help to lengthen your spine and make it more flexible. Standing forward bend pose may also release the tightness in the lower back strengthening the muscles that run along the spine. 2,4 If you have spine issues, consult a proper trainer and doctor. Do not self-medicate or treat. 

2. Benefits of Uttanasana for Hamstrings 

Uttanasana posture might benefit you if you struggle with tight hamstrings problems. It is a good posture for stretching the hamstrings of the back of the legs. Tight hamstrings may be a reason for lower back problems that might lower daily activities. The Standing forward bend pose allows you to invert the torso by putting your head below the heart. It provides a high level of intensive stretch to the tight hamstring, allowing them to loosen up. 5 

3. Benefits of Uttanasana for Digestion 

If your day starts with an uneasy feeling due to improper digestion, you should practise Uttanasana yoga. The daily practice of Uttanasana posture folds the body in the forward direction. This may help the digestive organs get a gentle massage, boost metabolism, and stimulate the digestive system. Uttanasana pose allows twisting of the body, which may benefit the abdominal organs facilitating the working of the digestive tract and may help in relieving digestive ailments such as constipation. 4  

4. Other benefits of Uttanasana: 

  • Uttanasana benefits may be associated with energising the nervous system. As you fold downward, this inverted pose may increase the blood flow to the head and neck region, allowing the brain to receive more blood and stimulate its functions. 5 
  • Uttanasana may provide an intense stretch to the hips and pelvis, which may allow them to increase mobility and gain flexibility.2 

Practising yoga may establish a connection between the mind and body; however, it is not an alternative to modern medicine. Therefore, you must not depend on yoga to treat your health condition. Instead, you must consult a qualified physician who will assess your condition and diagnose it accordingly. Furthermore, it is essential to practice and learn yoga under the supervision of a trained yoga expert to avoid injuries.  

In my experience, I have found that individuals with osteoporosis need to exercise caution and take a gradual approach when performing Uttanasana. Osteoporosis weakens the bones and makes them more susceptible to fractures. Deep forward bending exercises like Uttanasana might put stress on the spine, increasing the risk of compression fractures.

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

Also Read: Benefits of Garudasana (Eagle Pose) and How to Do it By Dr. Ankit Sankhe

Risks of Exercise  

Contraindications- The following conditions need to be looked out for before doing the Uttanasana pose:  

  • Back injuries 
  • Osteoporosis (a condition in which bone density decreases) 
  • High blood pressure (Hypertension) 
  • Low blood pressure (Hypotension) 
  • Vertigo 
  • Hernia and ulcers. 2,4 


  • People with high/low blood pressure problems or on medication must perform this asana gradually and slowly as it might hinder blood pressure, making them dizzy.2 
  • People with vertigo must avoid lowering the head downside as it might cause dizziness.4 
  • People with back problems or spinal disc disorders must avoid this pose as it may worsen the condition. 4 
  • People with abdominal inflammation, ulcers, or hernia should avoid Uttanasana as it involves stretching of the abdominal region it might create complications. 4 
  • Pregnant women must avoid doing the Uttanasana pose as it is an inverted pose that may create an unsafe position leading to complications. 4 

With the guidance of a trained Yoga master, one can assess and analyse the risk factors and continue to practice Uttanasana with precautions.  

Based on my experience, I strongly advise against engaging in this practice if you have high myopia. High myopia refers to severe nearsightedness, which means your eyes have difficulty focusing on objects in the distance. Deep forward bending exercises can put strain on the eyes and worsen the condition, potentially leading to further vision problems or complications.

Dr. Rajeev Singh, BAMS


Uttanasana yoga is an easy, standing yoga pose. Uttanasana yoga is also referred to as the Standing forward bend pose. The Uttanasana posture folds the body forward, giving the back an intense stretch. It may help to lengthen the spine and loosen tight hamstrings and it may reduce digestive ailments such as constipation enhancing the digestive process. However, you must follow the instructions given by your yoga teacher to gain the maximum benefits and avoid physical injuries.  

Also Read: Benefits of Setu Bandhasana (Bridge Pose) and How to Do it By Dr. Himani Bisht

Frequently Asked Questions 

What is Uttanasana? 

Uttanasana is a standing yoga pose ‘Ut’ means intense, ‘tan’ means stretch, and ‘asana’ means pose. Uttanasana yoga intensely stretches the entire back of the body, including the spine, hips, and hamstrings. Hence, it is also called the Standing forward bend pose.3 

What are the contraindications of Uttanasana? 

Some of the contraindications of Uttanasana posture include osteoporosis, back injuries, high blood pressure, low blood pressure, vertigo, hernia, ulcers, pregnancy, and abdominal inflammation. 2,4 

Is Uttanasana suitable for beginners? 

 Uttanasana is an easy-standing pose and might be a suitable yoga pose for beginners. However, the level of difficulty and the technique to perform Uttanasana should be learned from a trained yoga teacher.2 

Does Uttanasana benefit the digestive system? 

Uttanasana may benefit the digestion process. Uttanasana posture is an inverted pose which folds the body in the forward direction helping the digestive organs to get a gentle massage. It may boost metabolism and stimulate the digestive system. 

How many rounds of Uttanasana pose are recommended? 

You may perform Uttanasana yoga for 10-30 seconds. However, it should be practised under the guidance of an experienced Yoga teacher who will advise you on the number of rounds that Uttanasana may be practised.4 


  1. Yoga: Its Origin, History and Development [Internet]. [cited 2022 Sep 22]. Available from: https://www.mea.gov.in/in-focus-article.htm?25096/Yoga+Its+Origin+History+and+Development 
  1. Kaminoff L, Matthews A, Ellis S. Yoga Anatomy. United States of America: United Graphics; 2007. Available from: https://samadhiyogaashram.com/pdf/LeslieKaminoffYogaAnatomyzliborg-200817-225010.pdf 
  1. Kandasamy K. Yoga for Menopause. IDC Interna J. 2021;8(3):83–6. Available from: http://idcinternationaljournal.com/may-July2021/Article-15_IDC_May_July_2021_Ms_Kumareswari_Kandasamy_full.pdf 
  1. Basavaradd I., editor. 21 June INTERNATIONAL DAY OF YOGA Common Yoga Protocol, Ministry of Ayurveda, Yoga & Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha, and Homoeopathy (AYUSH). 4 Revised. Ministry of AYUSH | Government of India; 2019. 1–54 p. Available from: http://mea.gov.in/images/attach/Booklet_English_2017.pdf 
  1. Uttanasana (Yoga Asana) – Devi Mandir [Internet]. [cited 2022 Sep 14]. Available from: https://www.shreemaa.org/uttanasana-yoga-asana/ 
  1. Longest Performance of Uttanasana Yoga – Golden Book of World Records [Internet]. [cited 2022 Sep 15]. Available from: https://goldenbookofworldrecords.com/archives/17011 

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