Yoga: Bind Body, Mind and Soul

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Our Yoga expert, Navodita, tells us about three asanas. The first of these, Upavishtakona Asana, stretches the hamstrings and helps the blood to circulate properly in the pelvic region and keeps it healthy. It prevents the development of hernia of which it can cure mild cases and relieves sciatica. This asana is a boon to women. It regularises the menstrual flow and stimulates the ovaries. Two stages of Urdhva Mukha Paschimottanasana prevents hernia and relieves severe backaches. And the third and final is the Purvottanasana. It strengthens the wrists and ankles, improves the movement of the shoulder joints, expands the chest fully and relieves fatigue. Here are the secrets towards holistic health, in the weekly column, exclusively for Different Truths.

Yoga binds the body to the mind and to the soul. In order to get a full concentration and focus in your life, it is important to do Yoga. Yoga helps you focus on the now and present and it fills your life with complete bliss helping you breathe and seize the moment. So far we helped you energise your joints with some twists and sitting, here are some more sitting postures to help you become a little more flexible:

Upavishtakona Asana

Upavishta means seated and Kona means angle. Sit on the floor in Danda Asana. Move the legs sideways, one by one, and widen the distance between them as far as you can. Keep the legs extended throughout and see that the back of the entire legs rests on the floor. Catch the big toes between the respective thumbs and index and middle fingers. Keep the spine erect and extend the ribs. Pull the diaphragm up and hold the pose for a few seconds with deep breaths. Exhale, bend forward and rest the head on the floor. Then extend the neck and place the chin on the floor. Then, clasp the feet with the hands and try to rest the chest on the floor. Stay in this position from 30 to 60 seconds with normal breathing. Inhale, raise the trunk off the floor and release the hold on the feet. Hold the left foot with both hands, exhale and rest the chin on the left knee. Inhale and raise the head and trunk. Now, catch the right foot and with an exhalation rest the chin on the right knee. Inhale, raise the head and trunk, release the hands, bring the feet together and relax.

This asana stretches the hamstrings and helps the blood to circulate properly in the pelvic region and keeps it healthy. It prevents the development of hernia of which it can cure mild cases and relieves sciatica. This asana is a boon to women as the asana controls and regularises the menstrual flow and also stimulates the ovaries.

There is yet another variation of Paschimottana Asana.

Urdhva Mukha Paschimottanasana I

Urdhva means upwards and Mukha means face, mouth. When used together it means having the face upwards. Paschimottanasana is the intense posterior stretch, a massage for the back.

Sit on the floor with the legs stretched straight in front. Flex the knees and bring the feet closer to the buttocks. Catch the toes with the hands, exhale and stretch the legs up in the air, straighten them at the knees, pull the knee-caps towards the thighs and balance on the buttocks, keeping the spine as concave as you can. This position is called Ubhaya Padangushthasana (Ubhaya means both, Padangushtha means big toe).

To start with you roll over backward on the floor, and it takes some time to learn to balance on the buttocks alone. Stay in the pose from 30 to 60 seconds with normal breathing. After securing the balance, release the toes and hold the heels. Later interlock the fingers behind the extended feet and balance. Stretch the neck up and with an exhalation rest the forehead on the knees. Hold the pose for about 30 seconds with normal breathing.


Urdhva Mukha Paschimottanasana II

This is yet another variation of Paschimottana Asana. Lie flat on the floor and place the hands straight over the head. Stretch the legs straight, tighten the knees and take a few deep breaths. Exhale and slowly raise the legs together and bring them over the head. Interlock the fingers, clasp the soles and stretch the legs straight up with the knees keep tight. Rest the entire back on the floor. Take three deep breaths. Exhale, lower the legs towards the floor beyond the head by widening the elbows. Try and keep the pelvis as near the floor as possible. Keep the legs tightened at the knees throughout. Rest the chin on the knees. Stay in the position for 30 to 60 seconds, breathing evenly.

The pose helps balance and poise. The legs stretch fully which makes the thighs and calves shapely. The benefits are the same as those of Paschimottanasana, and in addition this pose prevents hernia and relieves severe backaches.

Yet one more asana good for an extended stretch is the Purvottanasana.


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 front of the body is stretched intensely.

Sit on the floor with the legs stretched straight in front. Place the palms on the floor by the hips, with the fingers pointing in the direction of the feet. Bend the knees and place the soles and heels on the floor. Take the pressure of the body on the hands and feet, exhale and lift the body off the floor. Straighten the arms and the legs and keep the knees and elbows tightened. The arms will be perpendicular to the floor from the wrists to the shoulders. From the shoulders to the pelvis, the trunk will be parallel to the floor. Stretch the neck and throw the head as far back as possible. Stay in this posture for one minute, breathing normally.

This posture strengthens the wrists and ankles, improves the movement of the shoulder joints and expands the chest fully. It gives relief from the fatigue caused by doing other strenuous asanas in the workout.

These asanas can help you rejuvenate and make you focus better in work or the activity that you are currently doing. Yoga can work wonders in making you let go of the past, stay in the present and be welcoming towards your future with enthusiasm and optimism. A few meditative techniques, Bandhas and Kriyas can make you feel alive for a long time. Practice these asanas until next week we are back with Bandhas and Kriyas.

©Navodita Pande

Pix from the Net.

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.