Utkatasana

Utkata means powerful, fierce, uneven.  This asana is like sitting on an imaginary chair.

Technique Of Utkatasana :

1. Stand in Tadasana (Plate I), stretch the arms straight over the head and join the palms.  (Plate 12)

2. Exhale, bend the knees and lower the trunk till the thighs are parallel to the floor (Plate 42)

3. Do not stop forward, but keep the chest as far as back as possible and breathe normally.

4. Stay in the pose for a few seconds, 30 being sufficient .  It is difficult to balance in this pose.

5. Inhale, straighten the legs (Plate 12), lower the arms, come back to Tadasana (Plate  I) and relax.

Effects of Utkatasana :

The pose removes stiffness in the shoulders and corrects any minor deformities in the legs. The ankles become strong and the leg muscles develop evenly.  The disphram is lifted up and this gives a gentle massage to the heart.  The abdominal organs and the back are toned, and the chest is developed by being fully expanded.  It is a beneficial pose for horsemen.

Ustrasana

Ustra means a camel.

Techniques of Ustrasana :

1. Kneel on the floor, keeping the thighs and feet together, toes pointing back and resting on the floor.

2. Rest the palms on the hips.  Stretch the thighs, curve the spine back and extend the ribs. (plate 40)

3. Exhale, place the right palm over the right heel and the left palm over the heel.   If possible, place the palms on the soles of the feet.

4. Press the feet with the palms, throw the head back and push the spine towards the thighs, which should be kept perpendicular to the floor.

5. Contract the buttocks and stretch the dorsal and the coccyx regions of the spine still further, keeping the neck stretched back.(plate41)

6. Remain in this position for about half a minute with normal breathing.

7. Release the hands one by one and rest them on the hips. (Plate 40) . Then sit on the floor and relax.

Effects of Ustrasana:

People with drooping shoulders and hunched backs will benefit by this asana.  The whole spine is stretched back and is toned.  This pose can be tried conveniently by the elderly and even by persons with spinal injury.