Bhudanasana translates as “mountain pose”. It is different, but similar, to Adho Mukha Svanasana or “downward facing dog” (as discussed below). Bhudanasana follows Bhujangasana or “cobra pose”; it is the eighth position in the Prana Vashya Yoga™ sun salutation.
How to get into the position
Starting, then, in Bhujangasana by lifting your waist / hips above the shoulder line and coming up on your toes, then exhale and come onto your heals to make a “V” shape with your body. To deepen the posture, lengthen your tailbone away from the back of your pelvis to tilt the pelvis and lift the sitting bones toward the ceiling.
Bhudanasana should be held for five full breaths. From a breathing perspective, this posture is an inversion and works the diaphragm cranial, improving lung mobility. With each inhalation, press your palms and straighten your arms in line with your torso (vision point between your heals on the floor). On each exhalation, press your heals to the floor ensuring your knees are straight.
When holding the position do not collapse your shoulders and do not allow your chest to come towards your thighs to work your arms (like when in downward facing dog). In Bhudanasana the emphasis is stability, so the weight distribution between the palms and feet is more even as the torso is kept in line with the arms. This allows you to observe the effects of the arms and legs on the spine as you hold the position.
Bhudanasana stretches the shoulders, hamstrings, calves and glutes, and strengthens the arms and legs. It has also been credited with improving digestion, relieving headaches, insomnia, back pain, and fatigue. Bhudanasana is also good for helping treat high blood pressure, sciatica, depression and asthma. It also neutralises the spine between back-bends and forward bends.
Do not attempt this position if you have any recent or chronic injury to the wrists (like carpal tunnel syndrome) or if you have high blood pressure or if you are pregnant.