Three Asanas and Sakshi Dhyana

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Our Yoga expert, Navodita, tells us about three asanas with backbends. Along with Sakshi Dhyana, it helps you reap best results. A major benefit of the or the cobra pose is that it opens up the shoulders and neck. It tones the abdomen. It strengthens the entire back and shoulders. It improves the flexibility of the upper and middle back. It expands the chest. It improves blood circulation. It reduces fatigue and stress. It is useful for people with respiratory disorders such as asthma. Dhanur Asana improves and appetite, gives flexibility to the back, cures menstrual disorders, it improves the function of liver, pancreas, small intestine, and large intestine and helps cure diabetes. Finally, Inverted Shalabh Asana stretches and strengthens the muscles of the chest, shoulders, arms, legs, abdomen and the lower back. It tones the abdomen and lower back. It massages the spine and keeps the back supple. It helps stretch the chest. It improves blood circulation. Here’s the weekly column, exclusively for Different Truths.

It’s time yet again for another workout of Yoga with backbends, followed by Sakshi Dhyana. Some common backbends that one may do with ease are Bhujanga Asana or Cobra Pose, Dhanur Asana or Bow Pose and Shalabh Asana or Grasshopper Pose.

Bhujanga Asana or Cobra Pose

The word is derived from Sanskrit word ‘Bhujanga’, which means a snake. Here you have to lie on your stomach with your toes flat on the floor and forehead resting on the ground. Keep your legs close together, with your feet and heels lightly touching each other. Place your hands (palm downwards) under your shoulders, keeping your elbows parallel, and close to your torso. Taking a deep breath in, slowly lift your head, chest, and abdomen while keeping your navel on the floor. Pull your torso back and off the floor with the help of your palms. Check whether you are putting equal pressure on both your palms.

Keep breathing with as you curve your spine vertebrae by vertebrae. If possible, straighten your arms by arching your back as much as possible; tilt your head back and look up. Ensure that your shoulders are away from your ears, keep your shoulders relaxed, even if it means bending your elbows. With regular practice, you will be able to deepen the stretch by straightening the elbows. Ensure that your feet are still close to each other. Keep smiling and breathing. Don’t overdo the stretch or over-stress yourself. Breathing out, gently bring your abdomen, chest and head back to the floor.

A major benefit of this pose is that it opens up the shoulders and neck. It tones the abdomen. It strengthens the entire back and shoulders. It improves the flexibility of the upper and middle back. It expands the chest. It improves blood circulation. It reduces fatigue and stress. It is useful for people with respiratory disorders such as asthma.

Its time now to get your energy into the back with Dhanur Asana or Bow Pose.

Dhanur Asana or Bow Pose

Dhanur Asana is very effective in weight loss programmes. In this the pose looks like a bow, hence the name Dhanur Asana.

Here you need to start by lying down on the floor facing downwards. Relax completely with 2-3 breaths. Inhale slowly and start bending your legs backward and catch the ankles with the hands. You will notice that your body is now in the shape of a bow. In this position, your whole weight will come on your abdomen. Only your stomach and pelvic area will touch the ground.

Hold this position for fifteen to twenty seconds and continue taking a deep breath. Now slowly exhale, and come back to the starting position. This pose improves digestion and appetite, gives flexibility to the back, cures menstrual disorders, it improves the function of liver, pancreas, small intestine, and large intestine and helps cure diabetes, too.

One more pose which can be done lying down on the stomach and is beneficial for the spine is the Superman Pose.

Inverted Shalabh Asana or Superman Pose

Lie on your stomach with your toes flat on the floor, chin resting on the ground. Keep your legs close together with your feet lightly touching each other. Now stretch your arms in the front as much as you can. Take a deep breath in and lift your chest, arms, legs and thighs off the floor. You resemble a flying superhero – Superman! Hence the name. Rather than making an effort to raise your hands and legs more, make a gentle effort to stretch your arms and legs away from your torso. Feel the pull occurring at both the ends. Ensure that your elbows and knees are straight and not bent. After twenty counts, slowly exhale and lower your chest and legs.

This asana stretches and strengthens the muscles of the chest, shoulders, arms, legs, abdomen and the lower back. It tones the abdomen and lower back. It massages the spine and keeps the back supple. It helps stretch the chest. It improves blood circulation. It can be a great workout for abs and stomach.

You may end this workout schedule with a bit of meditation. Always stay positive with these thoughts from Kena Upanishad:

  • Any talent you have, you think it is yours? But, no. it is a gift. It is all a blessing- money, talent and progeny. It’s all done on the subtle level. Angels, the subtle beings do the whole job and what you are doing is only a reflection. You don’t have a vision of what’s happening out there and who is in control. Do you think you are doing or controlling things in the short span of time you are embodied on this planet? No.
  • ‘Loka Samasta Sukhina Bhavantu’- May everybody be happy, you all bring peace to everybody. I want nothing. What do I want? But you give everybody everything. The power of blessings works!
  • The lesson here is also that never underestimate anybody. Even if a child speaks there maybe something in it. Don’t think you are the only intelligent one. Do not underestimate when the challenge comes from someone under you. This can be learned from the story of the Yaksha mentioned in this Upanishad.
©Navodita Pande

Photos from the internet.

#Yoga #HolisticHealth #Upanishad #DhanurAsana #BhujangaAsana #Meditation #InvertedShalabhAsana #KenaUpanishad #DifferentTruths

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
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