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Purvottanasana Helpful in preventing Fatigue

Purvottanasana

This simple and effective asana for your practice is sometimes called in IndiaKatikasana or the “Pelvic Asana”. The Sanskrit etymology of the term Purvottanasana reveals its relationship with Paschimotanasana, another famous and effective asana.

In fact, the Sanskrit term Purvottanasana comes from the juxtaposition of three Sanskrit words: purva=sunrise; uttana=maximum stretch; and asana=corporal position.

We also need to say that paschimo=sunset + uttana=maximum stretch + asana=corporal position give us Paschimotanasana – The Asana of the Clench.

Consequently, in the Sanskrit translation we find that the mysterious connection between the two is obvious, yet their translation tells us nothing further about this relationship.

Purvottanasana  is commonly referred to as Upward Plank Pose. But, this isn’t the literal translation of the asana’s name. Iyengar says, “Purva literally means the East. It means the front of the whole body from the forehead to the toes. Uttana means an intense stretch. In this posture, the whole front of the body is stretched intensely.” So, Purvottanasana could be loosely translated as Intense Stretch to the East Pose.

 

Practice of  the Purvottanasana Pose

  1. Sit in Dandasana (Staff Pose).
  2. Bend the knees and place the feet flat on the floor.
  3. Swing the hips towards the heels and roll the shoulders back and down.
  4. Exhale and swing the hips up towards the ceiling.
  5. Bring the head back last thing of all, and only if you can do it without crunching the neck.
  6. If you feel unstable in the pose, walk the feet a little bit away from you.
  7. Hold the pose for 20 to 30 seconds.
  8. Exhale and return to Dandasana.

Practice Points

  • Soften and widen the buttocks and the backs of the thighs.
  • Strengthen the inner thighs and widen the abdomen.
  • Lengthen the tailbone towards the knees.
  • Narrow and lift the sides of the waist.
  • Widen and lift the back ribs.
  • Widen the collarbones and shoulder blades.
  • Reach the arms down.
  • Roll the armpits up and over the collarbones towards the head.
  • Soften and widen the back of the neck.

Benefits Purvottanasana Pose

  • Strengthens the arms, wrists and legs
  • Stretches the shoulders, chest, and front ankles
  • Helpful in  preventing Fatigue

 Cautions

  • Beware of  Wrist injury
  • With a neck injury, support the head on a wall or chair seat


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Uttita Trikonasana is considered therapeutic for anxiety, flat feet, infertility, neck pain,

Uttita Trikonasana

The “tri” part is sometimes pronounced with a long e sound like tree, or a short “i” sound depending on preference.
from Sanskrit is Extended Triangle Pose. Utthita means, “extended” and Tri means “three” and Kona is “an angle”.
This pose is a standing pose that has an element of balance. Aligning the body is important.

Practice of Uttita Trikonasana

  • Stand in Mountain Pose (tadasana) with legs together and arms at sides. Step or lightly jump your feet apart to the distance of your leg length, usually between 3-4 feet apart. Raise your arms so that they are parallel to the floor. As you extend your limbs into a “star,” make sure they are active with energy radiating from your center, in a fashion that is not bent or limp. Then going to the right first, rotate the left foot 45 degrees to the right which turns it in slightly. Rotate your right foot out a full 90 degrees. Ideally the heel of your front foot will draw an imaginary straight line to your back foot’s inner arch. Some teachers do this slightly differently, and suggest that you align your left heel with your right heel, with the feet turned the same way. Your feet are the foundation in this pose, so make sure your weight is spread equally on the feet and that they are firmly planted on the earth.
  • The next part is to make your thighs firm and lift your kneecaps with your quadriceps which are the muscles in your thighs. You want to work toward having straight legs with the kneecaps lifted. Go back to noticing your feet. Is the weight distributed equally over the whole area of each foot? A subtle detail is to place slightly more weight on the inside of the forward (right) foot and the outside of the rear (left) foot, as these spots are likely to come off the floor if you are not attentive. What about your arms? Are they extended from your torso and still projecting energy?
  • Shift your torso to the right. Keep the spine long and with your arms parallel to the ground. Shoulders should stay on the same plane, with your left shoulder not moving forwards. The back and the neck are extended and long. Think of your spine as staying in a line, even when you move to the next part. Your hips move to the left staying on the same plane. Keep that left hip back as it will be likely to have a tendency to move forward. You extend your right arm forward and down by working from the hips. This pose elongates the inner thigh muscles of the forward leg. The more stretch that one realizes in the forward leg, the deeper one can descend into the pose without losing the aligned straight spine. As you descend, keep the spine aligned over the line between the rear foot arch and the forward foot. In other words, stay in a flat plane with your body.
  • Next you want to shift and extend to the right and extend your right arm toward the floor. You will reach your knee, shin, ankle, or your big toe, depending on your flexibility. Go only as far as you can keep your spine straight. Make sure the sides of your torso are equally extended, and not contorted. You don’t want rounding. Be careful to avoid the collapse of the bottom floating ribs toward the pelvic rim. Place your right palm on the block if you like. The yoga block is on its end, standing behind your right leg.
  • Extend your left arm toward the sky, in line with the tops of your shoulders. Your head should be in a neutral position facing forward or turned to the left, eyes looking at the left hand. If you have any neck problems or high blood pressure, it is best to face forward with even extension on each side of your neck.
  • Stay in this pose for 30 seconds to 1 minute or for a 3 to 5 full breaths. Breathe in a relaxed way through the nose during the pose. Heavy breathing would indicate straining. It helps to look at a point either in front of you or on your hand. Focal point attention develops “dristi” which is a Sankrit, meaning a focused gaze with the eyes. Inhale to come up, strongly pressing the back heel into the floor and reaching the top arm toward the sky. Come back to center and jump or step back to Mountain Pose (tadasana) with feet together and arms down at the sides. Start again, this time reversing the feet and repeat for the same length of time to the left side.

 

Variations:
1. Place your mat against the wall. With your back to the wall, spread your feet apart. Do the pose with your heels and buttocks touching the wall. The wall can give you support, help your balance and assist with the alignment of your body in one plane.
2. Another variation is done by stretching the top arm toward the sky, you can try to stretch it over the ear, parallel to the floor.

Benefits of Uttita Trikonasana
This pose is invigorating, and stretches and tones the legs, knees, hips, buttocks, pelvic muscles, and thighs. Stretch and opening happens in the hips, groins, hamstrings, and calves. Additionally, the triangle pose removes stiffness, corrects minor deformities and encourages an even development in legs; strengthens ankles, neck, back, develops chest, rib cage, relieves neck sprains and backache. Symptoms of menopause may be relieved and pregnant women may enjoy doing the supported version against the wall for relief of backache. Trikonasana is considered therapeutic for anxiety, flat feet, infertility, neck pain, osteoporosis, and sciatica. The regular practice of yoga is health promoting, and this pose may be helpful to individuals with those conditions. Please do not consider this article as offering medical advice, and consult your healthcare practitioner when beginning a yoga program.

Caution:

Don’t do the pose if you diarrhea, a headache, low blood pressure.
If you have high blood pressure, do the pose against the wall and don’t extend the top arm but rest it on your hip.


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Kapotasana Pigeon Pose Strengthening the back muscles

Kapotasana Pigeon Pose

The name comes from the Sanskrit words kapota (कपोत) meaning “pigeon” and asana (आसन) meaning “posture” or “seat” Kapotasana is an asana which helps to open up the chest and also strengthens the back and groin. It opens and increases the flexibility of the hips, at the same time strengthening the back, and stretching the thighs and the groin. Variations include Rajakapotasana (राजकपोतासन) (King Pigeon Pose), Eka Pada Rajakapotasana (एकपादरजकपोतसन) (One-Legged King Pigeon Pose) and Salamba Kapotasana (Supported Pigeon Pose)

Practice of Kapotasana Pigeon Pose

  • Kneel upright, with your knees slightly narrower than hip width apart and your hips, shoulders, and head stacked directly above your knees. With your hands, press down against the back of your pelvis.
  • On an inhalation, tuck your chin toward your sternum and lean your head and shoulders back as far as you can without pushing your hips forward. Firm your shoulder blades against your back and lift the top of your sternum. When your chest is maximally lifted, gradually release your head back.
  • Before you arch all the way back and place your head and hands on the floor, bring your palms together in front of your sternum in Anjali Mudra. Then separate your hands and reach them overhead toward the floor behind you. Bring your hips forward enough to counterbalance the backward movement of the upper torso and head. Keep your thighs as perpendicular to the floor as possible as you drop back. Place your palms on the floor, fingers pointing toward your feet, then lower your crown to the floor as well.
  • Press your palms, lift your head slightly off the floor and raise your hips, opening your front groins as much as possible. Lifting your pelvis as much as possible, lengthen and extend your upper spine and walk your hands to your feet. As you do, lower your forearms to the floor. If possible, grip your ankles (or, if you’re very flexible, your calves). Draw your elbows toward each other until they’re shoulder width apart, and anchor them firmly on the floor. Extend your neck and place your forehead on the floor.
  • Take a full inhalation to expand your chest. Then, exhaling softly but thoroughly, press your shins and forearms against the floor; as you do, lengthen your tailbone toward the knees and lift your top sternum in the opposite direction.
  • Hold the pose for 30 seconds or longer, further expanding the chest with each inhale, softening the belly with each exhale. Then release your grip, walk your hands away from your feet, and push your torso back to upright with an inhale. Rest in Child’s Pose for a few breaths.

Benefits of King Pigeon Pose (Kapotasana):

  • Strengthening the back muscles
  • Stretching the entire front of the body,  throat, chest and abdomen, the deep hip flexors (psoas),  groins and thighs, and the ankles
  • Improving posture
  • Stimulating the neck and the abdominal organs

Cautions

  • Pigeon pose should be practiced with caution if you suffer from knee pain or knee injuries. Seek the the guidance of a yoga professional before trying this pose. Note that knee pain and problems can be due to tight hips- so working your way into hip openers may lead to long-term knee health.
  • Be conscious of squaring the shoulders in the upright version of the pose so as to minimize ‘crunching’ in the low back. If you experience crunching, then you need to back off.

 

 


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Bhadrasana help to ease childbirth and help prostate and urinary tract health

Bhadrasana

Auspicious, or bhadrasana, is a meditation pose that stretches your groin area and helps open your hips. It is said to ease childbirth and help prostate and urinary tract health

Practice of  Bhadrasana

  1. Sit with your legs spread out.
  2. Bring both feet together and join the soles of your feet.
  3. Bring both heels as close as possible to the body.
  4. Try to touch the knees on the floor.
  5. Keep the head, neck and spine in one straight line, keep abdomen comfortably drawn in.
  6. Observe your breathing.
  7. Initially, give slow ‘butterfly movements’ by slightly lifting the knees and pushing them down. This helps increase flexibility in the hip joint.

Bhadrasana  Benefits:

  •  Bhadrasana is a conditioning asana and helps one prepare for further action.
  • It increases concentration and quietens the mind.
  • Also increases flexibility of the lower limbs.
  • The pose can relieve stiffness of knees, hips and ankle-joints
  • Bhadrasana should be practiced for healthy kidneys, prostrate, and urinary bladder.
  • Tension is released from the spinal coccygeal and sacral regions.
  • Practicing of this posture helps in blood supply to the muscles and ligaments of the uro-genital region.
  • The pelvis and groin muscles are strengthened.
  • Inner thighs get toned up.

Cautions  

  •  Severe arthritis, acute slipped disc and any injuries or surgeries on the legs.
  •  Beginners may find it difficult to practice Bhadrasana and might not be able to maintain the posture for long.
  • This is mainly due to inflexibility of hip joint and thigh muscles. With regular practice, this can be overcome.


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Cat Yoga Posture-Marjariasana Reinvigorates the spine and internal organs

Cat Yoga Posture-Marjariasana


The meaning of the sanskrit word “Marjari” signifies ‘cat’ and “asana” means ‘Pose. Hence this pose as known as Marjariasana or Cat Pose. It is also known by the name Bidalasana beacuse the word Bidal also stands for Cat. After exercising cat pose you’ll experience fresh aliveness and vitality hit your spine. This asana is supported on approximately poses demonstrated by cats, particularly when the cat wakes up after sleeping.

This asana is usually pronounced as mar-jar-ee-ahh-sanna

 

  1. Come onto the floor on your hands and knees. Bring the hands shoulders width apart and the knees hips width apart. Become aware of the length and quality of the breath.
  2. Inhalation slowly and completely. Open the chest forward, arching the back downward. Feel the tailbone and the crown of the head lifting equally towards the sky. Try to feel every part of the back, every vertebra.
  3. Exhale slowly and completely as you begin to arch the back upward. Tuck the tailbone and the crown of the head moving them towards each other. Use your hands and knees for support in the pose. Try to feel every part of the back, every vertebrae.
  4. Continue to coordinate the breath and the movement of the spine, repeating this sequence and many times as is desirable. When you are ready to stop simply bring the spine back to a neutral position, parallel to the floor.

Benefits of the Cat Yoga Posture:

  • Excellent for creating a supple spine, preventing injury
  • Purifies the blood
  • Reinvigorates the spine and internal organs
  • Relieves tension in the low back
  • The Yoga Cat Pose gives your back, torso, and neck a wonderful stretch.
  • It also gives your digestive organs a gentle massage.

 

Cat Yoga Posture-Marjariasana  Caution and Modifications for Beginners:

  • Focus on using your hands and knees for support.  Do not strain your back.
  • If you find it difficult to completely round out your back, go only as far as you can and hold the pose.
  • With time, your body will open and you will be able to completely arch your back.
  • Use special caution practicing this yoga posture if you have a neck injury.
  • Always keep your neck aligned with the spine.
  • Do not turn your head toward your navel.

 

 

 


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Utthita Ashwa Sanchalanasana Very effective in preventing Infertility and Low backache

Utthita Ashwa Sanchalanasana  (Lunge Pose)

Utthita = raised
Ashwa Sanchalanasana=horse, for pranic energy / riding posture / or lunge
This yoga pose will offers a spinal stretch, opening the chest and pelvic cavities. This yoga position is used in the Sun Salutation stretching the groin, hip flexors, and legs. It is a productive yoga exercise to strengthen the spine and surrounding muscles.

Practice of Utthita Ashwa Sanchalanasana

 

  1. Stand in Tadasana.
  2. On an exhalation, step or lightly jump your feet 3½ to 4 feet apart. Raise your arms parallel to the floor and reach them actively out to the sides, shoulder blades wide, palms down.
  3. Turn your left foot in slightly to the right and your right foot out to the right 90 degrees. Align the right heel with the left heel.
  4. Firm your thighs and turn your right thigh outward, so that the center of the kneecap is in line with the center of the right ankle.
  5. Roll the left hip slightly forward, toward the right, but rotate your upper torso back to the left.
  6. Anchor the left (back) heel to the floor by lifting the inner left groin deep into the pelvis.
  7. Then exhale and bend your right knee over the right ankle, so that the shin is perpendicular to the floor. As you bend the knee aim the inner knee toward the little-toe side of the foot. If possible, bring the right thigh parallel to the floor.
  8.  As you continue to ground your left heel to the floor, exhale and lay the right side of your torso down onto (or bring it as close as possible to) the top of the right thigh.
  9. Press your right fingertips (or palm) on the floor just outside of your right foot.
  10. Actively push the right knee back against the inner arm; counter this by burrowing your tail bone into the back of your pelvis, toward the pubis. The inside of your right thigh should be parallel with the long edge of your sticky mat.

Utthita Ashwa Sanchalanasana Benefits

  1. Strengthens and stretches the legs, knees, and ankles, and waist
  2.  Stretches the groins, spine, waist, chest and lungs, and shoulders
  3.  Stimulates abdominal organs
  4.  Increases stamina and lung capacity
  5.  This asana opens the groin and hips, stretching and toning the thighs.
  6.  As you lengthen through the spine, it also stretches the chest.
  7. Therapeutic Applications in  Constipation, Infertility, Low backache ,Osteoporosis ,Sciatica,Menstrual discomfort


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Virabhadrasana help osteoporosis and relieve sciatic pain

Virabhadrasana 

 the name of a fierce warrior, an incarnation of Shiva, described as having a thousand heads, a thousand eyes, and a thousand feet, wielding a thousand clubs, and wearing a tiger’s skin

Here’s the story Behind

In Hindu lore, the powerful priest Daksha threw a huge yagna (ritual sacrifice) and invited everyone-except his youngest daughter Sati and her husband Shiva, whom Daksha despised (even if Shiva was supreme ruler of the universe).  Sati got word of this and suggested to Shiva that they go anyway.  Shiva, not wanting to incite her father’s anger anymore than he has already done, ask, “Why go, where we are not invited?”  Sati was hurt by her father’s refusal to acknowledge her marriage and her husband; she decided to go alone to the yagna.

When she arrived, Sati and her father got into an argument, which entertained the guests.  Sati was saddened and humiliated by this public argument with her father. When her father tried to taunt her again she remained silent, letting go of all desire to continue to argue with her father in hopes of defending her husband. She trembled with disgust and indignation at having been so cruelly let down by the one man upon whom she, as a daughter, should always be able to rely. Instead she made an internal resolve to relinquish all family ties. She summoned up her strength and spoke this vow to her father, “Since you have given me this body I no longer wish to be associated with it.” She walked past her father and sat in a meditative seat on the ground. Closing her eyes, envisioning her true Lord, Sati fell into a mystic trance. Going deep within herself she began to increase her own inner fire through yogic exercises until her body burst into flames.

When Shiva got word of Sati’s death, he was devastated.  He yanked out a tuft of his hair and beat it into the ground, up popped a his fiercest Warrior.  Shiva named this warrior, Virabhadra.  Vira (hero) + Bhadra (friend).  He ordered Virabhadra to go to the yagna and destroy Daksha and all guests assembled.

Virabhadra arrives at the party, with swords in both hands, thrusting his way up through the earth from deep underground; this is the first aspect (Virabhadrasana I/Warrior I).  Establishing his arrival for all to see he then sites his opponent, Daksha, (Virabhadrasana II/Warrior II).  Moving swiftly and precisely, he takes his sword and cuts off Daksha’s head, (Virabhadrasana III/Warrior III).

Practice of Virabhadrasana 

  1.  Start in Tadasana, mountain pose with toes wide. Step or lightly jump so that your feet are four to five feet apart.
  2. Your feet are positioned about one foot further than a “leg length” apart.  In the beginning it is often necessary to adjust the distance between your feet.
  3. You can measure the correct distance on your own body as follows.  In the final pose, the left leg is straight and the right leg is bent to a right angle.  The upper right leg is parallel with the floor and the lower right leg is perpendicular with the floor.
  4. If your legs are too wide a distance apart the right leg will form an obtuse angle that is greater than 90°.  If your legs are too short a distance apart the right leg will form an acute angle that is less than 90°.  Adjust the distance between your feet so that when the top right leg becomes parallel with the floor the lower right leg will be perpendicular with the floor.
  5. Pivot your right foot out to a 90° angle and your left foot in to a 45° angle.  Align your feet so that a line through the middle of the front foot would extend back to the center of the arch of the rear foot.
  6. Before starting to descend into the pose, adjust your rear left leg and foot.  The rear foot arch should remain firm throughout the pose and your weight on the foot should be rolling towards the outside of the foot.  The rear should be active with its kneecap kept raised using the quadriceps muscle. These adjustments should be maintained throughout the pose.
  7. Turn your gaze to the right and start to descend the pelvis.
  8. After turning your feet and throughout your descent into the pose there is a tendency for to lose the line of your spine.  Keep the torso perpendicular with the floor throughout the pose.  Avoid leaning the torso to the right over the right leg.
  9. Avoid the tendency to swing the front right knee forward and the right sit-bone backwards.  When your top leg loses alignment you introduce potentially damaging strain into your knee.  This correction is particularly important for those with knee injuries.
  10. In the final pose your front knee should be directly over the ankle and heel of your front leg.  The rear leg remains active and straight with its kneecap lifted.  Keep weight on the outside of the rear leg foot and the inside of the front leg foot throughout.
  11. Once you have descended the pelvis so that the front leg is bent to 90° (or as close as your current extension allows) open the front leg’s groin by rolling your outer rear left leg down and inner rear left leg up.  Keep your rear kneecap actively pulled up throughout.   As you make this adjustment, be careful not to lose the alignment of the upper front leg over a line extending through the middle of the front foot going back through the center of the arch of your rear leg’s foot.
  12. Lift up your spine vertically and open your sternum.  This movement is key for Warrior II.   Your shoulders should be aligned over your hips.  The rear leg hip will be slightly forwards from the front leg hip but should be made as square as possible without losing the alignment of the forward top leg.
  13. Expand the chest, lift the sternum, and broaden your collar bones. As you lift through the centre of the body with your core strength, you can open the front of the chest.
  14. Drop your tailbone down and bring it forwards toward the pubic bone as you lift your ribcage up from the pelvis.  These movements extend the lower back and protect you from an unhealthy collapse in the lumbar spine.
  15. Extend the arms to the fingertips at the level of your shoulders with the palms facing the floor. The arm extension helps open the chest.  The arms should stay parallel to the floor. Engage the triceps muscles in the arms firming and extending them.
  16. Tip: Keep your shoulders away your ears. Focus on drawing your shoulder blades down your back.
  17. Turn your head to look out over your front arm. Keep scanning your body to feel where you are losing awareness and balance. Turning the head to the right (or bent leg side) is almost the last thing in the pose. Next, focus your gaze to the middle finger of your left hand which may help with balance.   Hold the pose for at least one minute working on opening the inner right groin throughout.
  18. To come out of the pose, bring the feet back to being parallel and straighten the bent leg.  Jump back to Tadasana with feet together. Repeat the pose on the other side.

Virabhadrasana  Benefits:

  1. Grounding, coordination, balance strength, stamina.
  2. Stretching and strengthening of legs, ankles, arms, knees joints, and spine.
  3. Enjoy a natural traction of the spine which makes space between vertebrae.
  4. This pose may help osteoporosis and  relieve sciatic pain.
  5. Your groins, chest, lungs, hip joint, arch of the foot and shoulders are opened and strengthened.
  6. Arthritis of the spine may be helped.
  7. Circulation in the lower limbs is helped by the pose.
  8. The longer you hold the pose, the more circulation and respiration are assisted in the body.
  9. Tone up the nerves and nervous system.
  10. Helps digestion and may help relieve constipation.
  11. Helps muscles relating to the lungs and thus helps respiration.
  12. Opens the heart with chest opening and can affect mood positively.
  13. Improves concentration.

Cautions:

  • If you have knee problems, either don’t do the pose without guidance from a teacher or don’t bend the knee as far as 90 degrees.  Keep the top of the bent leg aligned with the forward foot as you descend the pelvis.
  • Don’t do the pose if you have diarrhea, high blood pressure or a sprained or injured ankle. If you neck has issues, look straight ahead and do not turn your head to the side. Don’t strain. Don’t do the Warrior II Pose if you have recent or chronic injury to the hips or shoulders.
  • If you have lower back problems, be cautious and tuck the tailbone under and forward and raise the ribcage up from the pelvis to avoid compression in the lumbar spine.
  • Listen carefully to your body as you practice yoga. Consult your health provider and/or your yoga teacher for advice. A trained yoga teacher can help you do poses properly.
  • See our studio directory to find a teacher near you.