Despite its name, this pose doesn’t unfortunately cure hangovers. I call it Hangover Pose because in this position the trunk literally ‘hangs over’ the legs. In Sanskrit which is the ancient language in which yoga was written, it is called Uttanasana which means intense stretch. And intense it is.The body is stretched from the backs of the heels, up along the backs of the legs and continues along the entire length of the spine up to where the neck enters the head. It is excellent for releasing stiffness in the spine and can also be used as a resting position for the back after practicing other more demanding standing poses. You can also practice it from sitting. A good idea in the morning after you wake up, is to sit on the edge of the bed and do your hangover pose to relieve any stiffness in the back that the body has picked up over the night. This position also allows a gentle flow of blood and oxygen to reach the brain which has a revitalizing effect on the body.

To practice Hangover Pose:

  • Stand in Mountain Pose. Hold the elbows, right elbow with left hand and left elbow with right hand.
  • Bending from the hips, push your buttocks back towards the wall behind you.
  •  Inhale, exhale, and allow the trunk to drop down towards the floor so that it hangs over the legs.
  • Look at your knees (I know, thrilling!).
  • Gently nod your head a few times as if you were saying “yes” and shake it from side to side as if you were saying “no”. This will help release the neck.
  • Allow the elbows to gently sway from side to side. The idea is to keep the upper body feeling light and mobile and the lower body feeling strong and stable.
  • Breathe in and out 6 times.
  • Inhale, and slowly, slowly begin to uncurl the spine upwards again.
STOP! DO NOT attempt this pose if you suffer from High Blood Pressure, heart problems or have a herniated disc. You can try Half-Dog Pose instead which I will cover at a later date.