Supta Udarakarshanasana (Sleeping Abdominal Twist) meaning, steps, precautions and benefits


Practicing Sleeping Abdominal Twist pose is a great way to exercise both abdominal and back muscles gently in the simplest way possible as it is practiced while lying on the floor. The Sanskrit name Supta Udarakarshanasana (there is no doubt that even we Indian find it quite difficult to pronounce the Sanskrit name in one go without practicing) is derived from four words; the first Supta means lying down, the second Udara means abdomen, the third Akarshan means to stretch and the last Asana means posture. This has several benefits which you may experience gradually with regular practice. So let’s begin by knowing the steps to practice Sleeping Abdominal Twist.Supta Udarakarshanasana (Sleeping Abdominal Twist) meaning, steps, precautions and benefits

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Steps to practice Supta Udarakarshanasana (Sleeping Abdominal Twist)

Misalignment of the body or application of force while practicing an asana is capable of arising an injury or any other complication in the body. Hence, it is very important to know the right method of practicing an asana. Below are the steps to practice Sleeping Abdominal Twist correctly:

Starting PositionShavasana (Corpse Pose)

  1. Begin by relaxing the body in Shavasana, taking 3-5 long and deep breaths.
  2. Bring the legs together, arms close to the body with palms facing downward.
  3. Bend the knees placing the feets as close to your buttocks as possible without any discomfort.
  4. Bring the arms in line with the shoulders with the palms facing downwards.Elbows and shoulders must remain in contact with the floor throughout the practice.
  5. Inhale and slowly begin to lower the legs to the right side of the body along with moving the head and neck to the left side of the body. Try to place the knees on the floor.
  6. The must be no gap between the legs. Ideally, the upper leg is supposed to overlap the lower leg completely but it may take time and practice to achieve, for people with the stiff body.
  7. This is the final position, retain it for 5 seconds or less if you feel discomfort. Breath normally.
  8. Inhale and slowly bring the legs back in the upright position.Repeat the same procedure on the opposite side. This is one cycle.

Supta Udarakarshanasana (Sleeping Abdominal Twist) meaning, steps, precautions and benefits

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Practice a minimum of 3 cycles with each side gradually increasing the time of holding the final position.

Also readTadasana (Mountain Pose) steps, precautions & benefits

Precautions for Supta Udarakarshanasana (Sleeping Abdominal Twist)

  1. Overstretching the body will result in sore and strain muscles causing pain in the body so avoid doing so. Minor discomfort caused due to stretching in the first few days is acceptable and it goes away gradually.
  2. Remember that legs and head move in the opposite direction while lowering the legs to whatever side of the body.
  3. Avoid practicing this pose if you have any of this condition: heart problems, severe back conditions such as sciatica and slipped disc, recent abdominal surgery, hip, knee or spine injury, pregnancy.

Benefits of Supta Udarakarshanasana (Sleeping Abdominal Twist)

  1. Gives a very good stretch to the abdominal organs.
  2. Eases Sciatica by stretching Sciatica nerve.
  3. Beneficial in getting rid of constipation and enhances digestion.
  4. Useful for those who suffer from frequent backaches.
  5. Removes stress and stiffness in the back muscles caused by prolonged sitting.
  6. Reduces excess fat from the abdomen and waist.

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