Upward Salute Yoga Pose

Upward Salute Yoga Pose is a standing pose that targets the shoulders and is ideal for yogis and yoginis at all levels.

svadisthana – the sacral chakra
anahata – the heart chakra
related poses
How To Do Upward Salute Yoga Pose
  1. Start by assuming the Mountain Pose (Tadasana). Arms at your side, press firmly down on your heels, keeping your feet grounded.
  2. Inhale as you sweep your arms out to the sides, keeping arms straight. If you are experiencing tightness in your shoulders, stop when your arms are parallel to the floor. Otherwise, continue this motion until your palms are pressed together above your head, fingers pointing toward the ceiling.
  3. Lengthen your spine and arms and slightly lean (not bend) your neck so that you are gazing up at your thumbs.
  4. Do not puff out your chest or let your lower ribs push forward. Draw your ribs down and in toward your spine. Hold this position for a few controlled breaths, or for 30-60 seconds. To come out, exhale, sweeping your arms back down to Mountain Pose.
  • Breathe deeply through each step.
  • Do not raise arms above your head if you have a neck or shoulder injury.
  • If you experience dizziness or headaches, stare directly in front of you instead of up at your thumbs.

You can use a yoga strap to assist you if you are having problems keeping your arms straight. Create a loop with the strap, the length of your shoulder-width, and place them on your upper arms just above the elbows.
If performing this asana while pregnant, widen your stance to strengthen balance and stability.

Stretches & Strengthens

All Muscles: Abs, shoulders, hamstrings, calves

Target Muscles: Shoulders

Health Benefits of Upward Salute Yoga Pose
  • May help relieve sciatica.
  • Increases lung capacity.
  • Improves digestion.
  • Can help relieve anxiety.

Sanskrit Name & Meaning

Sanskrit Name & Meaning

Urdhva Hastasana

(oord-vah hahs-TAHS-anna)

ūrdhva: upwards
hasa: hand
vṛkṣa: tree
asana: posture

History & Mythology

History & Mythology

In Ashtanga Yoga, the Urdhva Hastasana, or Upward Salute, is the first asana in the Surya Namaskara — more commonly known as the Sun Salutation, a sequence of asanas. The origins of the Sun Salutation can be linked to worship practices for the Hindu solar deity, Surya, and can be practiced in conjunction with mantras to deepen spiritual awareness.
We are constantly researching to find more information about the history and mythology behind each pose. If you have any further information, we’d love to hear from you.