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Dangling Yoga Pose- Practice, Benefits and Contraindications

Common Name(s)Dangling Pose or Uttanasana Variation, Baddha Hasta Uttanasana in Sanskrit
MeridiansUrinary Bladder
ChakrasCrown Chakra (Sahasrara Chakra), Third Eye Chakra (Ajna Chakra), Sacral Chakra (Swadisthana Chakra) and Root Chakra (Muladhara Chakra)
ElementsWater , Earth, Thought , Light

The word ‘dangling’ is called ‘latakna’ in Hindi and resembles a anything which is hanging. In yoga, this is a pose which is also called by name of Baddha Hasta Uttanasana. In this posture, the torso is bent forward from the lower back and allowed to hang freely. It stretches the body and results in inversion. This asana is a variant of the Uttanasana in which the hands touch the floor.

In this position, the Urinary Bladder meridian is highly affected. The Dangling pose or Uttanasana Variation is considered good for liver, spleen and kidneys. 

This asana influences the four chakras-Crown Chakra (Sahasrara Chakra), Third Eye Chakra (Ajna Chakra), Sacral Chakra (Swadisthana Chakra) and Root Chakra (Muladhara Chakra). It works to balance the Pitta and Kapha doshas and affects the natural elements of thought, light, water and earth.

While this asana is considered good for a number of reasons, there are some precautions to be taken. These are listed ahead of the benefits and practice of this posture so that you do observe these precautions and do not entail any side-effects.

Contraindications or Precautions

1/4. People with high blood pressure or hypertension shall avoid doing this asana. 

2/4. People with diabetic and glaucoma conditions shall also avoid it. 

3/4. People who have low blood pressure shall be careful while coming out of the pose as it might cause dizziness. If you are coming out of the pose while standing, just roll yourself up slowly. Alternatively, you can go into squat position and then come out of the posture.

4/4. If the back does not bend properly due to any reason, you can take liberty of having bending the knees and even placing the elbows on thighs.

Practicing the Dangling Pose/ Uttanasana Variation

The dangling pose can be easily attained by going through the following steps…

1/5. Stand up with feet slightly apart. 

2/5. Bend forward, let the arms hand down. Have this feeling that the arches of the feet are lifting up. A little sway to left or right is okay to do and adjust the position, but do not bounce.

3/5. Try to rest the chest on the thighs. If it is difficult to do, bend the knees as much as required so as to be able to rest the chest on the thighs.

4/5. Clasp hands to opposite elbows and swing the arms back and forth. All this while let the head hang loose. There shall be no stiffness.

5/5. If the knees are kept straight, it will impact hamstrings and if the knees are bent, then it will make thigh muscles more muscular.

Time period to do Dangling Pose

Generally, three minutes is a good time period to hold this posture. However, it can be intense for some people. Therefore, doing it in two sessions of two minutes each can be another alternative.

Coming out of the pose

In order to come out of the pose after holding it for the prescribed period of time, you should bend the knees a little more and roll up slowly. 

If you find it difficult to come up straight, you should place hands on shins and come up half-way, then again go back down. Repeat this movement a couple of times before trying to stand up straight again. 

Benefits of Baddha Hasta Uttanasana

1/3. Stretch and Flexibility– This asana or yoga posture helps in stretching the lower part of the body as well as the upper part. The practitioner of these asana benefits by attaining more flexibility in hamstrings and spine. It is also good for gaining better functioning of internal organs. It improves digestion and sleep. It increases energy levels in the body and helps in warding off the stress and anxiety.

2/3. Good for women– Women, in particular, get help by doing this Uttanasana variation regularly. Since it activates root and sacral chakras, this pose helps in controlling emotions and releasing tension. The reproductive organs are stimulated due to compression and release. This helps immensely during their menopausal and menstruation times.

3/3. Develops strength in organs– Stomach, diaphragm, liver, kidneys and intestines get strength as these organs are massaged by contraction and relief due to this pose.

Alternatives to Dangling Pose

Dangling pose might not be easy to get into for many people. There are certain alternative to it which can also be practiced before being able to get into it full posture. 

1/3. You can release the tension in the back by bending the knees which also strengthens quadriceps.

2/3. If even bending the knees is not possible, you can make use of table top or thighs to rest elbows while bending forward gradually. There is no need to hurry up and one should give time for back to adjust into bending. It might take some days before you are able to do it fully.

3/3. One alternative is to do the Caterpillar or Paschimottanasana Pose. This pose is done sitting down on floor with knees either bent or straight on ground and bending forward. This is to provide ease from standing and doing the posture and to develop flexibility of bending the back.

Counter pose to Baddha Hasta Uttanasana

Counter-pose to Dangling pose is rather simple. Simply squat down in order to relax the stretched muscles. Alternatively, you can bend backwards a little gently. These are the two counter-postures to Dangling pose.

While practicing, you can intermix the Dangling Pose Uttanasana Variation with the Squat position and do these alternatively. This will be fun and creative and will prevent boredom from setting in.

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