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Forward Bending

/Forward Bending

Ek Pada Uttanasana

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How to do Ek pada uttanasana? Standing straight; raise your left leg upwards. Lean forward and grab hold of your leg, keeping your knee straight. Standing straight, hold your leg in front of you. Hold for 30sec- 1min. Then repeat on the other side.  

Paschimottanasana

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Asana Description: This forward bend asana rejuvenates the spine and tones the abdominal organs and gets rid of sluggishness. Paschima means west or back of the body and uttana intense stretch or extension and asana posture or pose. How to do Paschimottasana? Sit with the legs out stretched with the feet together. Place the hands on the knees. Relax your body in this posture. This is the starting posture. Slowly bend from your hip, slide your hands down your legs and grasp your big toes between your thumbs and fingers. If this is not possible you may hold your heels, ankles calves or knees. Hold this position and relax your back and legs allowing them to gently stretch. Without bending your knees gently pull your torso towards your legs. Pull using the arm muscles, do not strain the back. Try to touch your head to the knee. Be careful not to strain. This is the final posture. Hold in this posture for as long as comfortable. Counter-Indications: People suffering from back problems, slip-disc, sciatica, hernia should not practice paschimottanasana.

Janusirsasana

Asana Description: Janusirsasana quite literally means head to knee pose. In Sanskrit ‘janu’ means knee, sirsha means head and asana pose or posture. Janusirsasana is a forward bending posture that strengthens and stretches the shoulders, spine, groins and hamstrings while simultaneously stimulating the livers and kidneys. It is beneficial for people suffering from high bloods pressure, insomnia and sinusitis and also helps relieve menopausal symptoms, menstrual discomfort, stress & anxiety. How to do Janusirsasana? Sit with the legs out stretched with the feet together. Bend the left leg and place the heel of the foot at the perineum and allow the sole of the foot to rest against right inner thigh. Keep your spine stretched and back muscles relaxed. Slowly bend forward sliding your hands down your right leg and try to hold your right foot. If possible hold your right foot with both your hands. Try to touch your forehead on the right knee. This is the final position. Stay in this posture for as long as is comfortable. Slowly sit up and straighten the left leg. Return to the starting posture and rest the hands on the knees. Change sides and repeat with the right leg bent and left leg straight. Practice up to 5 times each side. Counter-Indications: People suffering from back problems, slip-disc, sciatica, hernia should not practice this asana.

Padahastasana (hands-to-feet forward bend)

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Padahastasana is one of the most important Yoga forward bending asanas. It is repeated twice in each Surya Namaskaar round as well. How to do it? 1. Stand upright with a very slight gap in between your feet and inhale. 2. Exhale and Bend forward from the hips until your palms or fingers touch the floor on either side of the feet , without bending your knees. 3. Bring the forehead as close to knees as you can. 4. Hold this pose for 30sec to 1 min with steady and calm breathing. 5. Inhale and stand upright again. Contra-indications: People suffering from back conditions should not bend forward fully. they can bend from the hips keeping the back straight making a 90 degree angle with the legs.   - Ruchi Renavikar

Trikonasana (Triangle pose)

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It stimulates the nervous system and alleviates nervous depression. It improves digestion and increases strength and flexibilty. How to do it? 1. Stand erect with the gap between your feet more than the shoulder width and turn the right foot outwards. 2. Inhale and Raise your arms to shoulder level 3. Keeping your arms straight Exhale and bend to the right side. Simultaneously slightly bend your right knee. 4. Place your right hand on the right foot , while your left hand is straight and pointing vertically upwards. 5. Look up at your left hand and hold this posture for 30sec to 1 min with steady breathing. 6. Return to the upright position with arms in a straight line and repeat the same on the left side. 7. This completes one round. Repeat it 3 times. Contra-indications: Should not be performed without guidance by those suffering from back conditions. Benefits: Affects the muscles of the side trunk , waist and back of the leg. Strengthens pelvic area and tones reproductive organs. Regular practice helps to reduce waistline fat.   - Ruchi Renavikar

Parivrtta Janusirasana (revolved knee-to-head pose)

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Asana description Parivrtta Janu Sirasana (Revolved head to knee pose) gives a lateral stretch to the body and also stretches the hamstrings and behind the shoulders. It gives a beneficial compression of the abdominal muscles and organs on one side of the body and simultaneously stretches them on the other side. It prepares the body for long hours of sitting in meditation. How to do Parivrtta Janusirasana? - Sit with legs about a meter apart. Bend the left knee and place the heel against perineum. - Bend forward, inclining the body to the right to hold the right foot with the right hand. - The fingers should be in contact with the arch of the foot and the thumb should be on top. - Place the elbow on the floor on the inside of the strait leg. - Bring the left arm over the head and grasp the right foot with the left hand. - Ease the head under the left arm, relax the back and twist the trunk as much as possible so that the chest is open and facing forward. - Hold for as long as is comfortable. Release the hands and slowly return to the starting position. Contraindications Pregnant women and people with back complaints should not perform this asana. It is a rather advanced practice, so be sure you are comfortable with janu sirasana before you attempt the revolved variation. - Catherine Juliano

Pada Prasar Paschimottanasana (legs spread back stretch pose)

Pada Prasar Paschimottanasana (legs spread back stretch pose)   Asana Description Pada prasar paschimottanasana provides similar benefits to paschimottanasana while giving an extended stretch to the inside of the legs and the muscles under and between the shoulder blades. The chest opens up and the effects of the asana are distributed throughout both the upper and lower parts of the body. How to do Pada Prasar Paschimottanasana? - Sit with the legs spread as wide as possible - Use your hands to move the meat of your buttock and inner thighs away so you are sitting directly on your sit bones and the pelvis is tilted slightly forward - Sit with a tall spine and begin to walk your hands forward on the floor in front of you - Keep the length in your spine and try to take your hands to the outside of the feet or the ankles - Hold the posture for 30s-1 minute or as long as is comfortable  

Shashank bhujangasana (striking cobra pose)

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Start in sharnagat mudra. Be sure to keep the hands in the same position throughout the practice. Lift the buttock from the heels and slowly begin to move forward. Slide the chest as close to the ground as possible and begin to arch the back as you extend the elbows. Open the chest and lift the chin in the final position. Stay here for a few moments and then begin to move backward. Pushing the hips back toward the heels as you exhale. How it helps: This asana combines the benefits of the backward bend of bhujangasana and the forward bending of sharnagat mudra. Dynamic movements are a great way to limber up the spine and can also be beneficial when preparing for other backbends. It tones the abdominal and pevic muscles and promotes good bowel movements. It also is useful in relieving menstrual cramps, backache and neck ache.