Beyond a Physical Practice

Aug 27th, 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. This month, we continue to explore a few poses and the therapeutic benefits.

For Relieving Stiffness in the Back & Hamstrings

A. Konasana (Triangle pose)

1. Stand with feet wider than shoulders’ width apart.
2. Turn both feet and the torso to the left to face the left leg.
3. Inhale, raise the arms overhead and interlace the fingers.
4. Exhale, fold forward and reach towards the left leg while keeping the spine long.
5. Inhale, return to the standing pose.
6. Turn the body and feet to the right.
7. Exhale, fold forward and reach towards the right leg.
8. Inhale, return to the standing pose with arms overhead.

This is one set. Practise 10 sets.

Benefit: This posture is great for relieving stiffness in the back and hamstrings. At the same time, it also helps elongate the spine, relieve back pain and strengthen the back muscles. Konasana opens the chest, corrects hunch back and stiffness in the shoulders.

Benefit: This posture is great for relieving stiffness in the back and hamstrings. At the same time, it also helps elongate the spine, relieve back pain and strengthen the back muscles. Konasana opens the chest, corrects hunch back and stiffness in the shoulders.

B. Shirsha Angusta Yogasana (Head to Toe – Simplified Version)

1. From Downward Facing Dog, inhale and walk the left foot forward and place it on the left side of the left palm.
2. Keep the right leg straight and right heel grounded to the floor while bending forward and touching the crown of the head to the floor.
3. Exhale, return to Downward Facing Dog.
4. Inhale, walk the right foot forward and place it on the right side of the right palm.
5. Keep the left leg straight and left heel grounded while bending forward and touching the crown of the head to the floor.

This is one set. Practise 10 sets.

Benefit: This pose helps to reduce stiffness in the hip joints and strengthen the legs.

Great Hip Flexor, Flexible Quadriceps and Hamstrings

C. Adho Mukha Savanasana (Variation)

1. Come on all fours with palms flat on the floor, shoulder-width apart and knees hip-width apart.
2. Exhale, tuck the toes and push into Downward Facing Dog with both heels grounded to the floor facing the same direction and tailbone pointing towards the ceiling.
3. Inhale, press the left foot to floor while raising the right leg up towards the ceiling with toes pointing upwards. Push the weight upwards without collapsing in the shoulders.
4. Exhale, bring the right foot back next to the left foot.
5. Repeat with the other leg.

This is one set. Practise 10 sets.

Benefit: This posture is great for opening tight hips, relieving stiffness in the back and hamstrings. At the same time, it also helps to elongate the spine and open the chest, reducing stiffness in the shoulders. Blood circulation to the head also improves.

D. Aswa Sanchalanasna (Horse Gesture Pose)

1. Stand tall with legs hip-width apart and arms hanging loosely next to the body.
2. Bend the knees and touch the fingers on both sides of the feet.
3. Inhale, bring the right leg back and drop the knee and ankle onto the floor.
4. Place the hands on both sides of the hips and push the hips downwards while leaning back and keeping the spine upright. 5. Inhale, place the fingers on both sides of the left foot and walk the right foot forward next to the left foot. Keep both knees bent.
6. Exhale, walk the left leg back and repeat as above.

This is one set. Practise 10 sets.

Benefits: This is excellent for increasing flexibility in the hip joints, opening the chest and massaging the abdominal 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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