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Udarakarshanasana (Abdominal Stretch) Steps, Benefits

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Udarakarshanasana is a dynamic yoga pose. Also, it is a part of Shankaprakshalana, the yogic cleansing of the intestines. The pose was first mentioned in Sukhsma Vyayama of Sri Dhirendra Brahmachari. He spelled it Udarakarsasana. Sri Satyananda Saraswati of Bihar Yoga School also described the pose in his book Asana, Pranayama, Mudra, and Bandha.

Apart from being a part of yoga cleansing of the intestines, it can also be a part of general yoga practice. Moreover, it is easy to learn and practice. Yet, it is a good yoga exercise for health.

In this article, we discuss its meaning, steps, and benefits.

Udarakarshanasana Information

Pose NameUdarakarshanasana
Sanskrit Nameउदराकर्षणासन
IAST Nameudarākarṣaṇāsana
English NameAbdominal Twist Pose
Difficulty LevelMedium
Origin Traditional
TypeDynamic abdominal twist

Udarakarshanasana Meaning

Udara + Aakarshana + Asana = Udarakarshanasana or Udarakarshan Asana.

In Sanskrit, Udara means stomach, Aakarshana means to stretch, and Asana means a pose. Hence, it is a yoga pose that stretches the stomach. We call it the Abdominal Twist Pose or Abdominal Stretch Pose in English. Often people call it the Lower Spine Twist.

Udarakarshanasana Precautions and Contraindications

Pregnant ladies and persons having health conditions like hernias, lower back issues, spine issues, knee injuries, and ailments should not practice this yoga pose. Besides, persons having diarrhea should avoid this.

Preparatory Poses

Cow Face Pose and Hero Pose are the best preparatory poses for an Abdominal Twist.

Udarakarshanasana Sequence

Before practicing Abdominal Stretch, one should follow the below-mentioned yoga poses in the sequence. Yet this is only for Shankaprakshalana.

  1. Palm Tree Pose
  2. Swaying Palm Tree Pose
  3. Standing Spinal Twist Pose
  4. Swaying Cobra Pose

Udarakarshanasana Steps

Step 1

First, assume a seated squatting position. Then, keep the feet apart and place the palms on the knees. Inhale slowly and deeply.

Step 2

Inhaling deeply, bring the right knee to the floor nearest the left foot. Then, twisting towards the left, Push the left knee towards the right with the help of the left hand. However, keep the inside of the right foot on the floor.

Step 3

Then, Squeeze the lower abdomen with the help of the pressure of both thighs. Look over the left shoulder. Retain the breath for five seconds.

Step 4

Subsequently, exhale and return to the starting position. Then, repeat the process on the other side. This constitutes one round. Practice up to five rounds.


There are two more variations of Udarakarshan Yoga.

Supta Udarakarshanasana

Supta Udarakarshanasana is a yoga pose that translates to Reclining Abdominal Twist in English. It’s a gentle supine (lying down) twist that helps stretch the spine, releasing tension in the back, and massaging the organs of the stomach. Here’s how you can perform it:

  1. Begin by lying flat on your back (supine position) on a yoga mat or a comfortable surface.
  2. Extend your arms out to the sides, in line with your shoulders, with your palms facing down.
  3. Bend your knees, keeping your feet flat on the floor/mat.
  4. Inhale deeply, and as you exhale, slowly drop both knees to one side towards the floor. Your legs should stay together throughout the movement.
  5. Keep both shoulders grounded on the mat, and turn your head in the opposite direction of your knees to deepen the twist. You can also extend your gaze towards the hand on the opposite side.
  6. Hold the pose for 30 seconds to 1 minute, breathing deeply and maintaining awareness of your body.
  7. To release, inhale and slowly bring your knees back to the center, and then repeat the twist on the other side.

Important tip: Don’t force the twist beyond your comfort level.

Supta Udarakarshanasana Benefits

  1. Improved Spinal Flexibility: This pose stretches and twists the spine, making it more flexible and reducing stiffness, notably in the lower back.
  2. Enhanced Digestion: The gentle motion of the twist massages the organs of the stomach. This aids digestion and relieves discomfort like bloating or indigestion.
  3. Relaxation: By releasing tension in the back and spine, this pose promotes relaxation and helps to calm the mind, reducing stress and anxiety.
  4. Better Circulation: Twists like this one increase blood flow to the spine and abdomen. This boosts overall circulation and detoxification.
  5. Stress Relief: It tones deep breathing and mindfulness. Also, it provides relief from stress and promotes a sense of well-being.
  6. Back Pain Relief: This pose gently stretches and mobilizes the spine, giving relief from mild backaches and improving spinal health to prevent future issues.
  7. Digestive Health Support: The compression and massage of the abdominal organs stimulate digestion, helping to relieve issues such as constipation and bloating.
  8. Increased Body Awareness: By focusing on sensations in the spine, abdomen, and breath, practicing this pose enhances body awareness and mindfulness.

Shava Udarakarshanasana

Shava Udarakarshanasana is the extension of Reclining Abdominal Twist. Only the duration is extended like Corpse Pose. In English, it gets the name Universal Spinal Twist. Normally, it is practiced at the end of a yoga session to get relief from the piled-up stress. It provides health benefits like improved spinal mobility, digestion, and relaxation.

Udarakarshanasana Benefits

The benefits of the abdominal stretch pose are as follows.

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