Shava Udarakarshanasana (Universal Spinal Twist) steps and benefits


Shava Udarakarshanasana commonly known as Universal Spinal Twist as you can guess by the name is a spine twisting asana. The Sanskrit name Shava Udarakarshanasana is derived from four words, the first Shava which means corpse the second, under which means stomach, the third Akarshana, which means to stretch and the fourth asana, which means posture. This asana is highly beneficial for curing the problem of indigestion, along with it there are several other benefits of Shava Udarakarshanasana, but first, let’s begin by knowing the steps to practice Shava Udarakarshanasana.

Shava Udarakarshanasana (Universal Spinal Twist) meaning, steps, precautions and benefits Image source

Steps to practice Shava Udarakarshanasana (Universal Spinal Twist)

It is very important to know the right alignment of the body in an asana to avoid any kind of injury and to attain the maximum benefits of it. Here are the steps to practice Shava Udarakarshanasana  correctly: 

  • Lie straight on the ground, keeping both the legs and the feet together.
  • Stretch the arms to the sides at the level equal to the shoulders, keeping the palms down.
  • Bend the right leg, bringing the foot beside the left knee. The left hand should be placed on the top of the right knee.
  • Bring down the right knee on the floor at the left side, keeping the left leg fully bent and the foot in touch with the left knee.
  • Turn the head in the right direction, looking at the mid finger of the right hand.
  • Keep the left hand on right knee and the right arm and shoulder should be in touch with the ground.
  • Turn the head in the opposite direction to the left knee. Keep the other leg straight.
  • Hold in the same position for as long as you find it comfortable.
  • Now, return by bringing the knee and head to the center.
  • Stretch the right arm to the side and straighten the right leg. Repeat the whole practice on opposite side.

Shava Udarakarshanasana (Universal Spinal Twist) meaning, steps, precautions and benefits

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Practice this asana 5 times, with each side. Inhale in the beginning, exhale while pushing the knee towards the floor and also, while turning the head. Take deep and slow breaths in the final position. Furthermore, inhale while centering the body and exhale while straightening the leg. This asana is more beneficial when performed after forward and backward bending asanas.

Precautions for Shava Udarakarshanasana (Universal Spinal Twist) 

The precautions for Shava Udarakarshanasana to be kept in mind for a safer practice are given below:

  • Avoid straining and stretching the body beyond its limits as it may cause pain in the thighs, legs, knees, hips and back.
  • Avoid practicing this asana if one is having an injury in hip joint as it may increase the complications.
  • People suffering from any of this condition should avoid practicing this asana: thigh, hip, leg, back, neck or joint pain, migraine, or spinal disorders.

Benefits of Shava Udarakarshanasana (Universal Spinal Twist)

The health benefits of Shava Udarakarshanasana are as follows :

  • Helpful in removing the excess belly fat.
  • Stretches the muscles and relaxes the whole body.
  • Helps to get relief from menstrual cramps.
  • Tones and massages the pelvic and abdominal organs.
  • Improves the digestion and is helpful in getting rid of gastritis.
  • Improves the posture and cures back ailments and spinal disorders.
  • Beneficial in relieving the stiffness of the lower back and tiredness of the body.

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