Ustrasana is a very beneficial pose because it brings us out of our daily habitual posture of rounding the back and hunching over, and brings us into a posture of opening the front body as well as elongating the spine.
This uplifting and energizing heart opener may look like a walk in the park, but in fact it is deceptively challenging when done with the proper alignment.
Since we are on our knees it is easy to overarch in the low back, which causes compression in the lower spine. Thus, the legs must be grounded so the extension and expansion is more focused on the mid and upper spine. We are resisting the pull of gravity as we arc backwards so the abdomen, pelvic floor, and hip flexors must be used to control and stabilize the pose in order to create an even and healthy arc in the spine. Meanwhile the muscles along the back are being strengthened to uplift the heart.
Come to class this week to learn more about the dynamics of this pose and try it out for yourself!