The star pose in yoga, Utthita Tadasana, is an expansive stance that opens your body up, allowing it to receive energy. It is an active pose that strengthens and stretches, creating a wonderful feeling in the body. It has also been said to bring joy.
The star pose, also known as five pointed star pose, is often used as a beginning pose, or a transitional pose that will lead you into other yoga postures such as triangle pose (Trikonasana) or the goddess pose (Utkata Konasana). The star pose in yoga has several benefits and is very easy to do. Here, we will look at the star pose, how to do it, what its benefits are, and some modifications for the pose.
Benefits Of The Star Pose
This pose has several benefits, just like any other yoga pose. Some of these include:
- Stretching and lengthening the body.
- Aligning the spine correctly which, in turn, improves posture.
- Can help reduce back and shoulder pain.
- Opens the chest and heart center, creating a feeling of love and happiness.
- If practiced correctly, it utilizes all of the muscles in the body.
- It strengthens legs, abdomen, back, and ankles.
- It can help improve circulation and respiration by providing more room for your organs.
- It can also help to relieve stress.
As you can see, there are several different benefits related to this yoga posture, and practicing it regularly can help bring health to your body and mind.
How To Do The Star Pose Correctly
Follow this step-by-step guide to practicing the star pose correctly and efficiently:
- Stand in mountain pose (tadasana) at the top of your mat. Stand with your feet about hips width distance apart and your back tall. Bring your hands to your hips.
- Step your feet out wide. Bring your stance out wide and let your feet splay out towards the corners of your mat.
- Reach both arms to extend out to your sides. feet and wrists should be about the same distance apart.
- Press down through your heels and straighten your legs fully. Draw your knees up by engaging your thigh muscles and keep your feet solidly grounded through the floor. Press evenly through all corners of the feet.
- Breathe. Once you are in the pose, take 4-8 deep breaths while maintaining the posture to really get the full effect.
Tips & Tricks to do Star Pose
In order to ensure that you are doing this pose correctly and getting the most out of it, there are a few tips that you might want to check out. Let’s take a look.
- Imagine your fingertips energetically pulling away from the opposite hand, reaching toward opposite walls. By imagining your fingertips pulling away from one another, you are consciously elongating your muscles and limbs, bringing yourself into a more complete pose.
- Tuck your tailbone under. In order to get your spine in the correct position and keep your pelvis neutral, you will want to tuck your tailbone in slightly. This will align your spine and ensure that you are in the correct position to receive all of the benefits of this pose.
- Be sure to relax your shoulders. Though your arms are actively working during this pose, you should try to relax your shoulders and bring them away from your ears.
- Broaden across your collar bones. To truly experience the heart opening effects of the star pose in yoga, you will want to push your chest out and open your heart space.
- Don’t lock your knees out. While you want to make sure that your legs stay straight, you don’t want to lock out your knees, as this can be dangerous. Keep your legs as straight as they will go without risk of hyperextending your knees. A good way to do this is by making sure to engage your quads.
- Ensure that your ears, shoulder, and hips are all in a line. This is a great way to check your posture. By ensuring that they are all in a straight line, you can make sure that your posture is correct and you are not leaning too far one way or the other.
- Keep your gaze light and your breath even and steady. Use your breath to truly get into this pose and ensure that you are getting the most out of it. Rather than looking all around, keep your gaze gently out front so that you are not moving around during your pose.
Modifications & Variations of Star Pose
What’s so great about this yoga pose is that it is fun and easy for all levels! However, to avoid any strain in the back, neck, and shoulders, you will need to ensure that you are doing the pose correctly. This may mean making some modifications when necessary to ensure that your alignment is correct. Here are some modifications you may want to make to ensure that you have the pose down:
- If you are just starting to practice Pilates, you may want to try the pose with your back against the wall at first. Your heels, buttocks, and shoulders should all be touching the wall (there will be a slight curve in your lower back which is normal). Your head should not be touching the wall, but your ears should be in line with your shoulders.
- You can choose the position in which your arms and hands rest. For example, you may place your palms together in front of your heart in prayer position to bring more calmness into the pose. Or perhaps you want to open your chest more - turn your palms up toward the sky. If you need more stability and grounding, place your hands on your hips.
- If you’d like even more of a challenge you can try one of these two things:
- Close your eyes during the pose - you may feel a bit wobbly at first, but keep your breath steady and you will be fine.
- Lift yourself onto the balls of your feet.
- To do this variation, begin in downward facing dog and step your feet together so that your big toes are touching.
- Move your right hand over to the left so that it’s in the upper center part of your mat.
- Move your right foot forward about 2 inches and plant your foot so that your toes are pointing toward the left side of the mat.
- Roll open to your right side and lift your left hand off the mat.
- Then, raise your left leg into the air.
- Be sure to keep your spine in a straight line and your gaze can be up toward your top hand or resting gently off the tip of your nose.
- Then, repeat on the other side.
Balancing star pose
Another popular variation of this pose is the balancing star pose. This is a challenging variation, and one that you will have to work your way up to.
The star pose in yoga is an excellent pose for strength and energy. Try it out and see for yourself!