Beyond a Physical Practice

Aug 13th, 2017
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The most important benefit of yoga is physical and mental therapy. According to medical scientists, yoga therapy is successful because of the balance created in the nervous and endocrine system. Through the practice of yoga, we become aware of the interconnectedness between our emotional, mental and physical levels. Each month, we explore a few poses and the therapeutic benefits.

Flexible Hamstrings for Healthy Back and Joints Janushirasana (Head to Knee Pose)

1. Sit upright with your legs stretched out in front of you.
2. Bend your right knee and place your heel close to you perineum with the sole of your right foot against your left inner thigh.
3. As you inhale, raise your arms up towards the sky while you lengthen your spine.
4. As you exhale, bend forward from your hip joint and stretch your arms all the way to your fingers.
5. As you inhale, hold onto your foot with both hands and pull away from your foot while you look ahead.
6. As you exhale, tuck your chin close to your chest and touch your knee with your forehead.
7. Stay in this position for about 5 long and slow breaths while keeping your body and your breath relaxed.
8. To release, inhale and return to the starting position.
9. Repeat with the other side. This is one set.
Practise 2 – 3 sets.

Benefits: This is a safe and wonderful stretch for your hamstrings and increases flexibility in your hip joints. At the same time, it also stimulates your thyroid gland that helps to maintain a healthy metabolic rate. It is an excellent pose for massaging and eliminating toxins from your internal organs.

Parivritta Janushirasana (Sitting Side Bend)

1. Sit upright with your legs wide apart.
2. Bend your left knee and place your heel next to your perineum.
3. As you inhale, raise your left arm up while you lengthen you spine.
4. As you exhale, bend your torso to the right and move your right shoulder as close to your right knee as possible.
5. Keep your left bicep close to your left ear and lean back slightly while you open your chest. Gaze upwards.
6. Stay in this position for about 5 long and slow breaths.
7. To release, inhale and return to the starting position.
8. Repeat with the other side. This is one set.
Practise 2 – 3 sets.

Benefits: This posture stretches your hamstrings and massages your internal organs. Great for reducing fat in your waist, keeping your waist trim. At the same time, it strengthens the back muscles.

Intense Stretch and Massage Internal Organs Ardha Padma Paschimottanasana (Half Lotus Front Bend)

1. Sit upright with your legs stretched out in front of you.
2. Bend your right knee and place your right foot on your left thigh with your heel as close to your left hip joint as possible.
3. Bring your right arm back and hold onto the big toe of your right foot with your second and third fingers.
4. As you inhale, lengthen your spine.
5. As you exhale, grasp the big toe of your left foot with the second and third fingers of your left hand and bend forward.
6. Keep your spine straight and gaze at your left toes.
7. Stay in this position and take 5 long and slow breaths.
8. Repeat with the other side. This is one set.
Practise 2 – 3 sets

Benefits: This is wonderful pose for stretching your hamstrings. At the same time, the heel of the bent leg tones and gives a gentle massage to your internal organs.

Bharadvajasana (name of a sage)

Sit upright with your legs stretched out in front of you. Bend your right leg with your right heel close to your right buttock and bring your left feet on top of the right thigh.

Bring your left arm back and hold onto the toes of your left foot. As you inhale, lengthen your spine. As you exhale, twist your torso to the left and place your right palm under your left knee. Turn your head and gaze over your left shoulder. Stay in this position for about 5 long and deep breaths while you relax your shoulders. Repeat with the other side.
This is one set.
Practice 2 – 3 sets.

Benefits: Bharadvajasana helps to keep your spine supple. At the same time, it reduces stiffness in the neck and massages, tones and releases toxins from your internal organs.

Yoga is for all ages and body types. Although the poses outlined are generally regarded as safe, it is possible for injuries or pain if poses are not executed properly. If you are considering the use of yoga poses for a specific health problem, consult your physician before starting up your yoga practice.

masterkamal@asanajournal.com'

Master Kamal

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