Four Supine, Versatile and Calming Asanas for all Body Types

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Our Yoga expert, Navodita, continues with the supine poses. She tells us about four asanas, which are versatile, calming and great for all . Uttanapada Asana is beneficial for all stomach-related ailments and is also good for weight loss and obesity. ‘Navel displacement’ can also be cured by this pose. Pawanmukta Asana releases any trapped gasses in the intestine. Setubandha Sarvanga Asana strengthens the back, buttocks, and hamstrings. It helps alleviate stress and . It calms the brain and central nervous system. It stimulates the lungs, thyroid glands and abdominal organs and improves digestion. Shava Asana releases stress, , depression and tension. It helps improve concentration and cures insomnia. It relaxes your muscles and calms the mind and improves mental health. Here’s the weekly column, exclusively for .

Supine poses are there to energise your tummy and other parts of the lower body. These positions are versatile, calming and great for all body types. If someone has a problem in the knees, supine poses can be a wonderful way to relieve the force of gravity and help one stay fit. While variations in the Sarvanga Asana helped you get rid of some of the problems, here are more to warm you up.

Uttanapada Asana

In order to get into the asana you need to lie back flat on your back with ankles together and arms at your side with palms facing down. Inhale as you extend and lengthen your spine. Imagine that a string is pulling the top of your head and legs in different directions. Exhale as you lift your legs simultaneously. They can be raised up to a 45-degree angle or a 90-degree angle. Breathe and hold this pose for five deep breaths or twenty seconds.

After first twenty seconds slowly lower your legs so that the stomach muscles may feel the contraction.

This asana is beneficial for all stomach-related ailments and is also good for weight loss and obesity. A condition called ‘navel displacement’ can also be cured by this pose.

Another supine pose that can do wonders for your core is Pawanamukta Asana.

Pawanmukta Asana

In order to get into this pose lie down face up with legs absolutely straight. With an exhale bend the legs and move it up to the chest so that the knees touch your chest. Wrap your arms around your knees getting them closer to your chest. Bring your forehead onto or close to your knees. Be careful not to strain your neck.

This asana stretches the neck and back. The abdominal muscles are tensed and the internal organs are compressed which increases the blood circulation and stimulates the nerves, increasing the of the internal organs. The pressure on the abdomen releases any trapped gasses in the intestine.

Yet another supine asana that can work wonders for your back is Setubandha Sarvanga Asana.

Setubandha Sarvanga Asana

In order to get complete benefit of Setubandha Asana, it is to do it the proper way. Lie down on your back, bend your legs and place your feet under the knees. Hold your feet around the ankles. Exhale, push with your waist and lift your sternum and waist off the floor. Let your shoulders be firmly placed on the floor. Use the muscles in your leg as support and bring your chest towards your chin. If you feel the pressure then instead of holding the ankles you can place your hands under the waist. Keep your elbows close together. Inhale and exhale normally for about twenty seconds. While exhaling relax your legs and waist and rest on the floor.

The asana stretches the chest, neck, spine, and hips. It strengthens the back, buttocks, and hamstrings. It also improves circulation of blood. It helps alleviate stress and mild depression. It calms the brain and central nervous system. It stimulates the lungs, thyroid glands and abdominal organs and improves digestion.

Another supine pose which is good for calming the mind and relaxing is the Shava Asana.

Shava Asana or the Corpse Pose

Lie down faced up with your feet on the corners of your mat. Drop your feet and point them sideward. Place your arms out at your side with your palms facing upward. Close your eyes and let your body relax. Release all tension from every muscle, every organ, every pore, and every cell of your body. Feel the inhalation and exhalation affecting every joint and corner of your body.

It relaxes your whole body. It releases stress, fatigue, depression and tension. It helps improve concentration and cures insomnia. It relaxes your muscles and calms the mind and improves mental health. It is an excellent asana for stimulating blood circulation.

After this relaxing yoga workout you can mull on some thoughts from the Katho Upanishad before finally calling it a day:

  • Your spirit is innocence, deep inside you are innocent. Don’t mind what is happening in the mind, never mind. in the innocence of the spirit that is in the present moment.
  • What does ‘Maya’ mean? It is that which is temporary, that doesn’t stay, it is impermanent. Maya comes and tries to grab you. You need to swim above that. When you are in the ocean, waves come gushing- you can’t stop waves, but with the surfboard, you go over it.
  • Everything has its purpose. A skillful teacher doesn’t need to take a stick and beat people,  people, though it may work sometimes, though it is needed sometimes. But they go by saying- the gates of joy are already opening for you. A little more patience is necessary and that’s it.
©Navodita Pande

Photos from the .

Navodita Pande

Navodita Pande

Navodita Pande has been practicing yoga since she was 9 years old in Iyengar Yoga. In April 1995, she performed at the International Yoga Seminar. In January 2003, Navodita taught at Hare Rama Hare Krishna Mandir in New York. Navodita had a Yoga show on NDTV 24x7 and was also the official yoga trainer for Miss Delhi contestants in 2007. She currently teaches Yoga and Reiki to
people in Kanpur.
Navodita Pande