Navodita, our Yoga expert, reveals the benefits of three asanas, Utthita Trikonasana, which stimulates the region around the abdomen making digestion quicker and faster. It is also very good for the spine. The second, Ardhachandrasana, which also improves digestion and is a good stress buster. Lastly, Utthita Parsvakona Asana that by maintaining the balance and poise, this helps in increasing balance overall in the body. She also reveals how to initiate the seven Chakras or energy centres in the psychic body, exclusively for Different Truths.
Utthita Trikonasana or Triangle Pose
This asana does well to tone your legs, muscles and ankles. It makes the calves, hamstrings, joints and hips stronger. It strengthens, back, neck and abdominal muscles too. It stimulates the region around the abdomen making digestion quicker and faster. It is also very good for the spine.
In order to get started keep a straight back and jump in a way that your feet are about three feet away from each other. Inhale and turn your right foot and left foot in. Keeping both your legs straight and arms stretched out, exhale and bend down sideways to touch the floor. Make sure your legs are not bent at any moment. Keep the stretch for about twenty seconds. Then get up and bend towards the left. Once again repeat for twenty seconds. Lo and behold, you can feel the wonderful stretch that just rejuvenated your spine and muscles!
A variation of Trikonasana and an improvement on this one is the Ardhachandrasana, which helps you balance and affects your legs and spine more strongly.
Ardhachandrasana or Half Moon Pose
Here you have to stand straight and then with the help of your right hand bend down, touch the floor and balance on your right leg with your body turned sideways. Cup your hands and place them on the floor and turn your right foot to the right while the left leg is suspended straight up in the air. Raise your left hand up and look straight ahead. Stay in this pose for twenty seconds and repeat this on the left hand side with your left leg.
Ardhachandrasana opens your hips and chest, builds coordination and balance, improves digestion, is a good stress buster and is very therapeutic for anxiety, fatigue, menstrual pain, backache, fertility, sciatica, osteoporosis, gastritis and constipation.
Utthita Parsvakona Asana or Extended Side Angle Pose
This is to be done along with the other standing poses to get their full benefit. Stand straight in Tada Asana once again. Spread your feet about five feet away from each other. Bend your right leg into a right-angle so that your thighs are parallel to the floor. Stretch to the right, place your hand on the floor and stretch the left arm overhead. Look up at the left arm and breathe normally.
You will feel the full benefit of the pose if you stay in it for about twenty seconds and breathe completely in the pose.
Slowly release and repeat this pose on the left hand side bending your left leg and taking the right arm over. This posture stretches the groin and waist. The twisting of the spine helps cleanse and system and reduces the stress around the abdomen. Twisting and revolving also opens the chest and lungs and tones the muscles of the heart. It allows for deeper access and strengthening of the shoulders. Lastly by maintaining the balance and poise, this helps in increasing balance overall in the body.
After a heavy workout its time now for some relaxing Dhyana. This time you will learn more about the Chakras and Chakra Dhyana.
There are seven Chakras or energy centres in the psychic body, starting from the bottom:
- Muladhara or Root Chakra
- Swadhishthana or Sacral Chakra
- Manipura or Solar Plexus Chakra
- Anahata or Heart Chakra
- Vishuddha or Throat Chakra
- Ajna or Third Eye Chakra
- Sahasrara or Crown Chakra
In this form of Dhyana you have to focus on each Chakra to derive full benefit from it. You have to concentrate on each Chakra or energy centre so that you can feel rejuvenated and energised in just ten to fifteen minutes. It is a very powerful form of Sadhana known to the seers for over five thousand years. This Dhyana opens your doors to a very Divine existence in a short span of time.
So here’s how you get started:
Sit comfortably in Siddhasana, Sukhasana or Vajrasana to begin and let your hands face the ceiling. Close your eyes, deeply inhale and exhale and relax yourself completely. It will be best if you can play a shloka in the background to begin this Dhyana as that will help you focus better.
Start by meditating in the Muladhara Chakra, situated below your navel. It is also called the seat of basic trust and faith. Next is the Sacral Chakra, close to the sacrum around the navel. This is also called the seat of creativity. Come further up on your body to Solar Plexus Chakra or the region between your heart and navel. This is the seat of wisdom and power. Then to the Heart Chakra which is the seat of love and healing.
Meditating on the Throat Chakra means you have to focus on the epiglottis and think about all the communication aspects as this Chakra is the seat of communication. Focussing on the Third Eye Chakra you have to get your focus at the centre of your eyebrows and think about the awareness levels in yourself- awareness about your soul as part of the Paramatma (Creator).
Finally, the Crown Chakra- here you have to feel the Oneness in all the Chakras from top to bottom and feel the energy as a Whole. This last Chakra energises you to the level of being united and one with the soul within.
As this ends your yoga workout for today, here’s something for you to mull on:
- It’s always good to be vibrant, dynamic and full of life with people around you. Keeping your energy levels high throughout the day can be a good start to healthy relationships.
- Learn to laugh at yourself often as that can help you tide over the little problems you may face adjusting with others or seeking too much perfection.
- Dreaming, sharing, loving are the three most important steps towards treating someone with utmost respect and care. Find out yourself how these can light up one’s life.
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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 24×7 and was also the official yoga trainer for Miss Delhi contestants in 2007. She currently teaches Yoga and Reiki to
people in Kanpur.