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June Pose of the Month

Urdhva Hastasana, or Upward Facing Hands, is more than just a foundational pose you can find in pretty much every flow, and serves as the starting posture of your Surya Namaskar A Sun Salutations. Also known as Uttitha Hastasana, or Extended Hands in Mountain, this sturdy stance is a gateway to grounding the body and connecting to your Muladhara Chakra, while actively improving your posture. 

To get into Urdhva Hastasana:

1. Stand on your mat, separating your feet hip width distance, toes facing forward.

2. Stack knees over ankles, hips over knees, shoulder over hips, crown of your head in line with shoulders.

3. Raise your hands overhead, pinkies facing the same way as your toes, thumbs facing the back of your mat, biceps in line with ears.

4. Gaze straight forward or raise your eyeline up to the space in between your pinkies, relaxing your shoulders down your spine and away from your ears.

5. Tuck your tailbone slightly and engage your core, hugging the center ribs together.

6. Raise your kneecaps just enough to activate your quads and grip the mat with all ten toes, gently lifting the arches of your feet and inner ankles.

This deceptively simple pose has a lot going on! And for good reason. Regular practice of this standing core engagement will help protect your lower back from injury throughout the day. It also provides a sense of grounding and stability, waking up your Muladhara or Root chakra, located at the base of the spine. When you tuck your tailbone and engage the spaces around it for support, you are sending a signal to your brain of firm resolve and fortitude, reinforcing feelings of stability when you need it. 

As we celebrate Summer Solstice this June with 108 Sun Salutations, a firm grasp on Urdhva Hastasana is a great place to start. One of the reasons this tradition exists is because 108 is a sacred number in yoga. The distance of the Earth from the Sun is 108 times the diameter of the Sun. Since the Sun is exactly what we are celebrating as we usher in this Summer season, a flow with that particular amount of salutations makes sense as an offering of gratitude for all the warmth and life-giving properties the Sun so graciously bestows upon us. 

Join us for our Summer Solstice celebration on Friday June 21st, as Beth leads us through this ancient practice and profound way to honor this seasonal shift, with 108 Sun Salutations. After all, now you’ve got the first pose in the sequence perfected. Just 107 more Urdhva Hastasanas to go!

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