The Upward Lotus Pose, also known as Urdhva Padmasana in Sarvangasana, is an advance level of inversion pose, which is a combination of the Lotus Pose (Padmasana) and Shoulderstand Pose (Sarvangasana).
The pose strengthens the arms, shoulders, back, spine, hips, legs and abdominal muscles, it requires a strong foundation and an understanding of breath, lock (Abdominal lock and Chin lock), stability, strength, and balance.
|Known as:||Upward Lotus Pose, Urdhva Padmasana in Sarvangasana, Upward Lotus in Shoulderstand, Inverted Lotus Pose|
|Sanskrit name:||ऊर्ध्व पद्मासन|
|Type:||Balancing, inversion, arm balance|
|Focus:||Arms, shoulders, spine|
|Total time:||30 to 120 seconds|
|Chakra:||Sahasara Chakra, Anjna Chakra, Vishuddha Chakra, Manipura Chakra|
|Indications:||Anal and urinary channels, menstrual troubles, asthma, breathlessness, palpitation, bronchitis, throat ailments, thyroid and parathyroid glands, shoulders, reproductive organs|
|Counterposes:||Padmasana (Lotus Pose), Salamba Sarvangasana (Shoulder Stand Pose)|
|Preparatory poses:||Sarvangasana (Shoulderstand Pose), Padmasana (Lotus Pose), Halasana (Plow Pose, or Plough Pose)|
|Follow-up poses:||Matsyasana (Fish Pose), Uttana padasana (Raised Legs Pose), Shirshasana (Headstand)|
|Contraindications:||High blood pressure, surgery on the back or waist, spinal column ailments on the lower vertebrae, back injury, hip injury, ankle injury and knee injury, hernia, headache|
Urdhva Padmasana derived from the Sanskrit name that made from three words — Urdhva + Padma + Asana:
- “Urdhva” = “upward”
- “Padma” = “lotus”
- “Asana” = “pose or posture”
Benefits of Upward Lotus Pose (Urdhva Padmasana in Sarvangasana)
The physical and mental benefits of this yoga pose are listed below:
- Physical Benefits:
- Strengthen the neck, chest, shoulders, hip, knee, thigh muscles, and anterior section of the spinal column
- Stretches the shoulders
- Reduce lower body fat
- Reduce back pain
- Eliminate toxins
- Stimulates reproductive organs and enhance sexual health
- Improves digestive health
- Improves flexibility of spine
- Improve the posture
- Relief from the asthma, breathlessness, palpitation, bronchitis, throat ailments
- Eliminate the common cold and nasal disturbances
- Activate the thyroid and parathyroid glands
- Stimulates the kidneys, circulation, and breath
- Aids digestion by bringing the more blood and hence oxygen to the abdominal organs
- Helps with the chronic migraine or headache (don’t exercise in case of acute headache)
- Improve blood circulation and paves the way for dense hair growth
- Slow down the aging process
- Enhance the nutrient absorption ability of the body
- Strong heart health
- Good for the Celibate’s Pose (Brahmacharyasana)
- Mental Benefits:
- Reduces stress
- Relieves anxiety and depression
- Calms the mind
- Enhances the focus of mind, memory, and concentration
Upward Lotus Pose (Urdhva Padmasana in Sarvangasana) Practice Guide
- Start in Supported Shoulderstand Pose (Salamba Sarvangasana), keep your both legs straight and the hands supporting your back.
- Exhaling, bring your right ankle to your right thigh and your left ankle to your right thigh (take your one arm away from behind for support if necessary).
- Take a deep breath, then exhale, flexing your hips to bring your thigh-bones parallel to the floor.
- Take the hands one by one to the knees and straighten your arms. Create a stable posture by pressing the knees into the hands and hands into the knees. While opening the shoulders (tilt the head back slightly if you feel pressure at the top of the neck) look up to the nose to create a triangle base between the shoulders and head.
- Hold the posture for 30 to 120 seconds.
- Lower hands to floor to release, palms down (using the arms as brakes). Slowly exhale and lower your spine to the floor.
- If you don’t think you can lower down in such a controlled manner, you can put the hands on the hips.
- Either continue with the Fish Pose or release your legs.
- Note: You can modify the pose as you drop the hands to support your spine until you manage to achieve your right balance.
Precautions and contraindications
The Upward Lotus Pose (Urdhva Padmasana) is practiced with a combination of Base Pose Lotus Pose and Shoulderstand Pose, so the precautions and contraindications to these pose may be mentioned.
For additional precautions and contraindications to keep in mind in this pose which includes flexing the hips and holding the breath, which are explained below:
Injury and surgery
Avoid this if you are either injured or recovering from an injury. Injuries can be of any type, as the practice of Upward Lotus Pose involves the whole body. Of course, it goes without saying that people recovering from surgery are also at risk, but you should take care, even if the surgery performed is chronic. The Upward Lotus Pose should be offered only on the basis of complete description and analysis.
Certain conditions like trauma, severe Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), glaucoma, ear infections, viral recovery, autoimmune disorders (with a clear understanding of the same), fibromyalgia, weak joints etc. are all contraindications and should be avoided practicing this pose.
Discomfort and bandha
Not everyone will be comfortable with bandhas during a pose, even if they find it easy as an independent exercise. Breathing when in inversion pose can be a challenge in itself, and can be troublesome if the person has to hold their breath as well. Therefore, unless individuals are comfortable with the practices of bandhas, they should avoid the practice of this pose.
Diversity and awareness
If you are generally fit and strong, but still have difficulty holding the pose in Upward Lotus Pose (Urdhva Padmasana in Sarvangasana), they can begin practicing it with a partner before becoming independent. This can be a great way to bring awareness to the breath-body-mind connection. Once comfortable with this change, they can move to an unsupported posture.
Written by Anjali Kumari. She is a certified yoga instructor, Diploma in Make up, Nails and Beauty, Diploma in Nutrition, Food, Science and Menu Planning. Anjali is the destination of choice for the latest updates, tips and resources in beauty, health and wellness, and all topics that mean the most to today’s woman. Whether it’s advice from a trusted expert or a DIY tutorial, she has it all. She is passionate and obsessive about science and how it can be applied in daily lifestyle. According to her, food is the best medicine and proper nutrition is the key to achieving good health and beauty. When she is not working, she likes to spend quality time with family and friends. She loves creating innovative, healthy recipes and healthy choices for foods to promote good health.