Ragdoll pose

Baddha Hasta Uttanasana or Ragdoll pose is a basic standing forward bend yoga posture that stretches the calves and hamstrings and releases tension in the lower back as well as revitalizes the mind providing release, relief, and relaxation in the body.

Unlike Uttanasana where the hands touch the floor, Badha Hasta Uttanasana involves holding the opposite elbows and clasping the arms together so that they hang and hence the name dangling pose. Lean forward from the hips, bending your knees as far as you can, letting the head hang down between the upper arms.

Ragdoll pose is considered a simple form of forwarding bending, usually practiced as part of a warm-up pose or as an active recovery pose in between exercises, before delving into deeper asanas.

Baddha Hasta Uttanasana Quick Facts

Sanskrit name: Baddha Hasta Uttanasana
IAST: baddha hāsta uttānāsana
Pronunciation: BAH-dah hah-stah OOT-tan-AHS-anna
English Name: Ragdoll pose
Pose Type: Forward-bend, inversion, stretching, standing poses
Pose Level: Beginner
Focus: Hamstrings, calves, knees, neck
Known as: Ragdoll Pose, Uttanasana Variation Hands to Elbows, Baddha Hasta Uttanasana, Standing Forward Fold Pose Variation Hands to Elbows, Dangling Pose, Yin Yoga Dangling Pose
Stretches: The spine, hamstrings, and calves
Strengthens: The stomach, diaphragm, liver, kidneys, intestines, feet, and thighs
Drishti: Third Eye (Bhrumadhye)
Chakra: Sahasrara Chakra, Ajna Chakra, Swadisthana Chakra, Muladhara Chakra
Contraindications: Back or neck injury, pregnant women

Meaning

Baddha Hasta Uttanasana is a Sanskrit name, which is made up of five words – Baddha + Hasta+ Ut + Tan + Asana:

“Baddha” = “bound”
“Hasta” = “hand”
“Ut” = “intense (particle indicating deliberation, intensity)”
“Tan” = “to stretch or extend or lengthen out”
“Asana” = “pose or posture”

Preparatory Poses:

  • Downward-facing dog pose (Adho mukha shvanasana)
  • Upward/half forward fold pose (Ardha uttanasana)
  • Head-to-knee pose (Janu sirsasana)
  • Seated forward bend pose (Paschimottanasana)
  • Reclined hand to toe pose (Supta padangusthasana)

Follow-up Poses:

  • Upavistha Konasana (Wide-angle seated forward bend pose)
  • Ardha uttanasana (Standing half forward bend pose)
  • Paschimottanasana (Intense dorsal stretch pose)

How To Do Ragdoll Pose

  • Stand with your feet hip-width apart, toes pointing forward.
  • Inhale and while exhaling bend forward from hips according to the flexibility.
  • If needed, micro-bend your knees and try to bring close the mouth to the knees.
  • Cross your arms and Grasp the elbows with opposite palms and allowing the head to hang down between the crossed arms.
  • Sway gently from side to side and release your back.
  • Maintain this final pose with normal breathing for as long as is comfortable.
  • You may try this with some variations ie. swing your head, neck, and shoulders, Release the grip and let your fingers grasp the feet.
  • Stay in the pose for 5-10 deep breaths.
  • To release the pose, bring your hands to your hips, keep the micro-bend in your knees and come up to standing with a flat back.

Benefits

  • Stretches the spine, hamstrings, and calves
  • Strengthens the stomach, diaphragm, liver, kidneys, intestines, feet, and thighs
  • Soothes the nervous system
  • Releases tension in the neck and shoulders
  • Releases tension in the lower back
  • Helps to drain the sinuses
  • Improves digestion
  • Lengthens the spine
  • Allows for more flexibility in both the hamstrings and the spine
  • better functioning of the internal organs
  • Calms the mind, Relieves mild depression & anxiety
  • Alleviates discomfort from sinusitis
  • Stimulates the reproductive organs
  • Activate the Muladhara (Root Chakra) and the Swadhisthana Chakra (Sacral Chakra). 

Cautions

  • Avoid if there is a back or neck injury
  • Pregnant women
  • Lack of balance should avoid holding this pose for long periods of time

Conclusion

Ragdoll pose is a variation of uttanasana, or a basic standing forward bend. Here, the yogi bends forward from hips to head to hang, clasps opposite elbows, and if needed bends the knees. The pose stretches the low back, relieves stress and calms the mind, lengthens the spine, and revitalizes the mind.

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Disclaimer

The content is purely informative and educational in nature and should not be construed as medical advice. Please use the content only in consultation with an appropriate certified medical or healthcare professional