Thread The Needle Pose - Urdhva Mukha Pasasana

Thread The Needle Pose - YanvaYoga


Thread The Needle Pose or Urdhva Mukha Pasasana is a simple posture that provides a gentle and effective release for the back and upper body through a twist. It is a useful posture for stretching the arms, chest and neck. It also has a number of therapeutic benefits for those suffering with pain or tightness in the upper body.
This yoga posture can give you a great stretch through the chest and shoulders. It also requires a gentle twisting motion that can help stretch and loosen the muscles in the low back. If you are dealing with chronic shoulder or back pain, this posture can help gently loosen the muscles and relieve tension.
Thread The Needle Pose may also be known as Reverse Table Top Twist Pose.

Step-by-Step Instructions

Step 1
Begin in Table Top Pose, with your wrist just below the shoulders and your knees under your hips. Keep your spine neutral.
Step 2
Now raise the right arm up to the ceiling, and open your upper body to the right. Turn your head up to look towards the right arm.
Step 3
With an exhalation, turn back towards the ground and slide the right arm underneath the left shoulder. Turn the head towards the left and keep the ear on the floor.
Step 4
Bend the left elbow and use the strength of the left arm to slightly deepen the twist. There’s also an option to place the left hand on your lower back or to extend the arm in front of you.
Step 5
Hold the position for around 3 to 5 breaths, or longer if you want a deeper release.
Step 6
Use your left arm to push you up from the pose and rotate the right and torso back towards the ceiling. Get back to Table Top position, then repeat the same steps on the other side.

Benefits and Contraindications


Help relieve chronic shoulder and back pain

Stretches intercostal muscles between the rib cage thus help in improving the lung's capacity

Twists the thoracic region of the spine

Stretches the upper and outer muscles of the shoulder such as rhomboid major, deltoid, and trapezius muscle


High blood pressure

Recent surgery

Knee, neck, shoulder, back, or spinal injury

Photo poses in different angles

Modifications and Props for Beginners

  • Place a pillow or blanket under your ear and/or shoulder if the surface is too rough or hard.
  • Place a pillow or double fold the mat under your knee cap if you feel discomfort.
  • You can use a block under the shoulder for elevation in case you can’t reach the floor yet.
  • Press a block or pillow between the inner thighs to help keep your hips square and elevated.

Useful Tips

  • Do not rush through the movement to stretch too quickly. Rather, move slowly into the pose, and perform each movement smoothly.
  • During the pose, make sure not to keep your hips forward, as that can put pressure on your neck, and displace the stretch intended for your shoulder.
  • Your spine should be in a neutral position throughout the pose. It should never hunch or flex during the stretch.
  • Do not overstretch your muscles. Overstretching can cause a strain or sprain in the spine. Make sure to take the stretch as easily and smoothly as possible.
  • The ‘thread the needle’ pose is a deep stretch, so it’s important to breathe during the entire stretching session.
  • Make sure to inhale as you lift, and exhale as you go deeper into the stretch.

Frequently Asked Questions

What muscles does Thread the Needle pose stretch?

Thread the Needle pose primarily stretches the shoulders, upper back, and neck.

Is Thread the Needle pose suitable for beginners?

Yes, Thread the Needle pose is suitable for beginners as it is a gentle stretch and can be easily modified to suit your level of flexibility.

Can Thread the Needle pose help with shoulder pain?

Yes, Thread the Needle pose can help alleviate shoulder pain by stretching and releasing tension in the shoulders and upper back.

How long should I hold Thread the Needle pose?

Hold Thread the Needle pose for 5-10 breaths on each side, or longer if it feels comfortable.

Can I do Thread the Needle pose during pregnancy?

Thread the Needle pose is generally safe during pregnancy but should be modified to avoid putting pressure on the belly. Consult with your healthcare provider before attempting any yoga pose during pregnancy.


  • Thread The Needle Pose With A Blanket
  • Thread The Needle Pose With a Block
  • Extended Puppy Pose

Iana Varshavska
Iana Varshavska
Website administrator

A digital marketer in love with yoga and everything that goes along with it. In 2021, her huge passion for yoga led her to yoga teacher trainings. After successfully completing her studies, Iana received her Yoga Alliance U.S. certification, left the corporate IT world and devoted herself to the development of Yanva. To be able to create the best online yoga space for yoga enthusiasts like her, Iana is constantly learning and improving her skills in various aspects of yoga philosophy, anatomy and biomechanics. Since 2021, she has continued to attend various types of teacher training, including yoga therapy, gives online and offline classes, and conducts local workshops for people who want to learn more about yoga. At the moment, Iana continues to work on her personal practice, improving her hand balancing skills, as well as developing her own training programs.