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Backward Bending

Know your asana- USHTRASANA

Ushtrasana or the camel pose is a backbend which also opens the heart centre.  Ushtrasana is like a camel travelling through the Sahara, requiring stamina, endurance, and a commitment to inner awareness. What is so special about Ushtrasana? This asana improves the blood circulation in the abdominal region. Thus, improves the digestion. Also, the pose strengthens the lower back while opening the heart center. Therefore, Ushtrasana helps us physically and emotionally!! Chakra-wise The camel pose stimulates the Manipura Chakra which allows us to have control over our thoughts and emotional responses, set healthy boundaries, and be at peace with ourselves. Its physical association is with digestive function. Benefits of Ushtrasana Strong and flexible spine - Backbends help in restoring the natural flexibility of the spine. With consistent practice, the back becomes strong and agile. Opens the chest and shoulders - As the digital era requires us sitting in front of computers. Ushtrasana opens the shoulders and relieves stress from them. Tones us the abdomen - As the abdomen is pushed outwards, the obliques are stretched. Thereby, this helps in toning the muscles around the stomach. Improved digestion - As the blood circulation improves in the abdomen, the organs function optimally leading to better digestion. Stress relief -  Our minds often follow our bodies, so by increasing the flexibility in your spine.We relieve the tension in the neck, back, and shoulders. This helps in relaxing the body and mind! :) Emotional balance - As the chest is opened, the energy in the heart center is stimulated. This helps in balancing the emotions and feelings. Thus, we feel more peaceful and centered. Extroversion in personality - As the heart center opens, it is easier for a person to express oneself and [...]

Know your asana: Chakrasana

In the esoteric tradition of hatha yoga, Chakrasana creates a bridge between six chakras. Besides, helping the mind, body and breath, the wheel posture stimulates the energy flow in the entire body. Also, this posture is popular because of its' benefits and its' aesthetic appeal. What is so special about Chakrasana? It is an intense backward bend which creates necessary space in the spine to keep young and healthy. Just like a wheel sets the momentum for the car, this asana sets the momentum for the circulatory system, nervous system and endocrine system. Chakra-wise Chakrasana introduces our conscious awareness to the energy flowing through the chakras. While the torso is reflexed, the Manipura chakra is affected.  And as the seat of digestive fire, this Chakra regulates the function of the Pancreas and digestive organs. The solar plexus contains many precious jewels such as the qualities of clarity, self-confidence, bliss, self-assurance, knowledge, wisdom and the ability to make correct decisions. Benefits of Chakrasana Spine flexibilty and strength-  Wheel pose strengthens and lengthens the vertebrae, which increases elasticity and flexibility of the spine. As we age, our spines compress, but this asana helps us stand tall in the later years too! Tones the abdominal region- Regular practice ensure that the obliques and the abdominal fat is reduced. Opens up the chest- while increasing the lung capacity. Thereby it helps in more oxygen being circulated in the body. Stimulates nervous system and endocrine system- Due to stimulation of the thyroid and pituitary glands, when engaged in the posture, happy hormones/chemicals are secreted. It energises and de-stresses you. Stretches the hip while increasing hip flexibility. Heart opener- As the chest is pushed out, the cardiovascular health improves, the energy is activated. This helps in emotional [...]

Know your asana – Sethu bandhasana

Sethu bandhasana can be used to fire up or cool down your yoga practice. The bridge posture is great for the spine, thus the vertebrae is lengthened and strengthened. This asana can be used as a preparatory posture for Chakrasana. What is so special about Sethu bandhasana? This asana can be a restorative posture or a dynamic way to open and strengthen your body. It opens the thoracic spine (the middle and upper back) and imprints important alignment principles in the lower body. Whether you are new to yoga or have been practicing for years, you can reap benefits from building a strong Bridge! Besides, it is a great warm up for the abdomen too. :) Chakra-wise Manipura chakra is associated with the natural element fire and directly linked to your sense of self. A healthy solar plexus ensures that you are comfortable with your own inherent power and become empowered. This energy center is associated with your self-esteem, sense of purpose, personal identity, individual will, digestion and metabolism. Benefits of Sethu bandhasana Opens shoulders and chest-  Rolling onto the tops of your shoulders, helps in opening the chest and strengthening the upper back. This pose is very restorative for anyone who notices that they droop in the shoulders – be it while standing or sitting. Opens the hip-  Bridge asana opens the hip flexors, creating length where there needs to be length, and tension where tension is needed. Great posture to be practiced, after sitting for a long time. De-stressing and calming effects- in the brain and nervous system. Aligns and strengthens the vertebrae.  Stimulates the lungs, thyroid glands and abdominal organs- while improving digestion ,circulatory system and respiration. Backbend- Sethu bandhasana is a mild backbend and tones the whole [...]

Know your asana: ARDH KAPOTASANA

A classic Yoga Asana, which is camera friendly and multipurpose. In Sanskrit, Ardha means “half” and kapota means “pigeon”.  Ardh kapotasana is named after a great master, Kapota. His yogic accomplishments are documented in scriptures such as the Mahabharata and the Kalika Purana. What makes Ardh Kapotasana so special? The posture is widely practiced by athletes, sports people, gymnasts and dancers. Yoga handles stiff hips in a variety of ways. But mostly through a family of poses, popularly called the “hip openers." Ardh kapotasana is a great backbend that strengthens the lower back. It’s fascinating to see the variations of this asana, which has been tailored for people with stiffness in different areas. Chakra-wise The posture stretches the abdominal-pelvic muscles and affects the Manipura chakra (Solar-plexus).  As the seat of digestive fire, this Chakra regulates the function of the Pancreas and digestive organs. Therefore, an active Manipura Chakra supports good health and assists in overcoming many illnesses. Benefits of Ardh kapotasana As we balance in the centre and bend backwards, the abdominal area is engaged. It is a great posture to tone up the abdomen and  the abdominal organs are stimulated.  This pose is perfect for tight hips because it stretches the hip rotators (the buttocks area) and the hip flexors. This asana increases the lower body's flexibility.  It is a great post-run stretch to relax the muscles around the thigh and groin area. This stance is useful for conditioning your thighs. It strengthens the back, while being a great stretch for the spine. It improves the posture thereby giving dancers a better stance. Prepares the body for seated postures such as Padmasana(Lotus Pose). Thereby ensuring more composure in meditative postures. Contradictions Avoid in case of knee [...]