Virbhadra & Shava Asanas with Mindful Living: An Integrated Way of Life

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Navodita, our Yoga expert, unravels the secrets of the three Virbhadra Asanas or the Warrior Poses. It energises us. The rigorous Yoga workout must be followed by the Shava Asana and Yoga Nidra for proper relaxation. The author rounds off the discussions with handy tips for mindful living, in her weekly column, exclusively for Different Truths.

So if you’ve been sitting idle most of last week and need to get your nerves moving, we bring you some more of those standing poses we have been teaching so far. On the physical level all standing poses integrate the body, balancing flexibility, strength, endurance and coordination. These poses work on all such things simultaneously giving you a chance to target individual weak points. A series of standing poses moves your body through a full range of motion in every major joint, nerve and muscle and prepares the body for deeper poses, and teaches it to move in an even, integrated way. So today we begin with the Warrior Pose or Virabhadra Asana.

Virabhadra Asana I or Warrior Pose I

Start by standing straight in Tada Asana or the Mountain Pose. Spread your feet about three to five feet away from each other with your arms spread out on the side. Now turn your body to the right hand side and turn your waist completely to the right, too. Bend your leg into a right-angle raising your back foot a little to get the grip. Keep your back leg absolutely straight. Take your arms up and join the hands overhead. Look up with your head and chin properly stretched. Feel the stretch running through the entire body and stay in the pose for about twenty seconds. Repeat this asana for about twenty seconds on the left with the left leg bent. Come back into Tada Asana and rest by standing straight for a while.

This strengthens your shoulders, arms, legs, ankles and back. It also opens up your hips, chest and lungs. It improves focus, balance and stability. It encourages good blood circulation and respiration. It stretches your belly, groins and back as well and energises the entire body.

Now it’s time to get another stretch of the body with Virabhadra Asana II or Warrior Pose II.

Virabhadra Asana II or Warrior Pose II

After taking a few deep breaths in Tada Asana, spread your feet three to five feet away from each other. Turn your right foot out and left foot in and bend your right leg in ninety degree angle. Keep your arms stretched on the side. Turn your head to the right and look straight at the fingers of the right hand. Keep the left arm raised in line with your right arm. Hold the pose for twenty seconds. Repeat this pose on the left side for twenty seconds again.

This helps relieve backaches and develops balance and stability. This relieves any tension you may have at the back of your neck as the neck gets a full swing to the right and left sides. It energises tired limbs. It stimulates the abdominal organs and opens the chest and lungs. It also stretches hips and shoulders.

A third in this series of Warrior Poses is Virabhadra Asana III or Warrior Pose III which is more appropriate for balancing than the other two poses.

Virabhadra Asana III or Warrior Pose III

In order to get into this balancing pose you have to first get into Virabhadra Asana I and then keeping your hands raised, raise your left leg so that you may balance on your right foot. Extend both the arms well and the left leg is stretched back and suspended in the air, too. This gives a good stretch to the vertebrae.

This pose tones the leg muscles, improves posture, improves agility, contracts the abdominal organs and encourages good balancing. This asana, however, may be tough to do if the hamstrings are tight or abdominal or spinal muscles are weak.

So after a power-packed morning of variations of Warrior Poses you can relax with a Shava Asana or a Yoga Nidra.

Shava Asana and Yoga Nidra

Lie down on your Yoga mat with legs away from each other and hands away from your body. Your feet should be turned to either side and palms should face the ceiling. Loosen up your body with your eyes closed. Focus the mind on the breath. Feel the gradual inhalations and exhalations. After a few minutes, focus on the navel from inside the body. Keep the attention on the navel and imagine its passage inside.

Now one by one focus on stomach and then lungs, both the legs, hands, back, chest, both the ears, eyes and nose. Feel the breath as a separate part of your body. Slowly become aware of the  around you and get up from the left hand side.

Get started for yet another day full of energy and enthusiasm with some mindful living.

Mindful living

If you are caught up in the daily rigmarole of going to office, pleasing your boss, mundane household chores and late nights out then its time you get into some soulful and mindful living. This is exactly how:

  • Never go into your comfort zone and always keep challenging yourself. The only thing you need to overcome for that is fear in the initial stage. Continue with courage because we can never change if we stay comfortable.
  • Don’t be a football of other person’s opinions. You may stay neck deep into work with piles of office work to do but never lose that inner streak which each one of you has. As you sail through the journey of life, you will realize that the more you give in, the more timid you become. Keep your inner voice intact as you are a master of your own destiny.
  • What goes around comes around. Never feel short of giving lots of kindness, warmth, respect and service to the other person in any form. If you can shower the  attitude to the other person, it will come back to you in some way or another.
  • Don’t read intentions in other person’s actions. Often in the day we do make mistakes. However more often than not it’s easy to snap at the other person for whatever has been done by an office peon or a junior clerk, etc. Next time something like this happens, look inward. It will do wonders if you can just accept the other person’s and move on.

Pix from Net.

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