Navodita, our Yoga expert, dwells on the variations of Kapotasana, the Ek Pada Rajakapotasana and Valakhilyasana. The first pose helps in curing disorders of the urinary system. The neck and shoulder muscles are exercised fully. The thyroids, parathyroids, adrenals and gonads receive a rich supply of blood and this increases one’s vitality. The second asana rejuvenates the lower region of the spine. In it more blood circulates around the pubic region, keeping it in a healthy condition. She suggests that if these are backed up with some rigorous pranayama, the result could be encouraging. Our columnist suggests, “You will definitely notice a sea change in your behavior and your attitude towards life, what’s more, it even adds productivity to your life.” Here’s more to holistic health, in the regular column, exclusively for Different Truths.
Since you have started with some good, rigorous backbends, time to do some more of these to get agility to your back. Here are some more to add to the backbends like Kapotasana- the Ek Pada Rajakapotasana and Valakhilyasana. Follow these up with some rigorous pranayama and mindful meditation, chanting and good reading. You will definitely notice a sea change in your behavior and your attitude towards life, what’s more, it even adds productivity to your life. Let’s start with Rajakapotasana.
Eka Pada Rajakapotasana I
Eka means one, pada the leg or foot and kapota a dove or pigeon. Rajakapota means the king of pigeons. In this asana, the chest is pushed forward like that of a pouter pigeon, hence the name of the pose.
Start by sitting on the floor, with legs stretched straight in front. Bend the right knee and place the right foot on the floor so that the right heel touches the left groin. Keep the right knee on the floor. Take the left leg back and rest its entire length straight on the floor. The front of the left thigh, knee, and shin and the upper part of the toes of the left foot will then touch the floor. Place the palms on the waist, push the chest forward, stretch the neck, throw the head as far back as possible and balance for some time in this preparatory movement of the pose. Now rest the hands on the floor, bend the left knee and lift the left foot up near the head. Tighten the muscles of the left thigh. With an exhalation, take the right arm over the head and grip the left foot with the right hand. Rest the head against the left foot. Stay in the pose for about ten seconds. Repeat the pose on the other hand for the same length of time.
This helps in curing disorders of the urinary system. The neck and shoulder muscles are exercised fully. The thyroids, parathyroids, adrenals and gonads receive a rich supply of blood and this increases one’s vitality.
Now let’s move onto the next asana which is similar but with different effects- Valakhilyasana.
The Valakhilyas were heavenly spirits the size of a thumb, produced from the Creator’s body. They were said to precede the Sun’s chariot and to number sixty thousand. They are referred to in Kalidasa’s epic poem Raghuvamsa. This difficult asana is a continuation of Ek Pada Rajakapotasana and must be performed once this has been mastered.
Perform Ek Pada Rajakapotasana. After gripping the left ankle firmly with both the hands, contract the hips and move the coccyx up. Without releasing the ankle, stretch the left leg back and take a few breaths. Exhale, extend the arms further and push the leg down until it lies flat on the floor. The entire front of the leg from the thighs to the toes should touch the floor. Stay in the pose for a few seconds. As the chest is fully extended while the abdominal organs are contracted, breathing will be fast and labored. Repeat the same pose on the other side for the same length of time.
The pose is a counter movement of Janusirsa Asana and it rejuvenates the lower region of the spine. In it more blood circulates round the pubic region, keeping it in a healthy condition.
This can be followed by some cycles of Nadi Shodhana Pranayama:
Empty the lungs completely through the right nostril. Control the aperture of the right nostril with the inner side of the right thumb, away from the nail. Now inhale slowly, steadily and deeply through the right nostril, controlling the aperture with the tip of the right thumb near the nail. Fill the lungs to the brim (also called puraka). During this inhalation, the left nostril is completely blocked by the ring and little fingers. After full inhalation, block the right nostril completely with the pressure of the thumb and release the pressure of the ring and little fingers on the left nostril. Readjust them on the outer edge of the left nostril and keep it parallel to the septum. Exhale slowly, steadily and deeply through the left nostril. Empty the lungs completely.
The pressure should be exerted from the inner sides of the tips of the ring and little fingers (away from the nails) (also called rechaka).
After full exhalation through the left nostril, inhale through the left nostril slowly, steadily and deeply, filling the lungs to the brim (puraka). Then block it, and exhale through the right nostril (rechaka). This completes one cycle of Nadi Shodhana Pranayama and the rhythm of breathing is as follows:
- Exhale through the right nostril
- Inhale through the right nostril
- Exhale through the left nostril
- Inhale through the left nostril
- Exhale through the right nostril
- Inhale through the left nostril….and so on
As blood circulates faster in the body it rejuvenates and refreshes the body, mind, and soul.
Follow this up with soulful chanting mulling over some good thoughts:
- If you have not embarked on the voyage inside of you, you have no idea what you are missing. The suffering of most people is that though they may be good and believe in God, they have failed to develop the competence to live life, which can be done with a bit of spirituality.
- Are we decent and balanced even when we are not under a radar? That’s the question we must ask ourselves. For self-discipline, the toughest and the most important thing is for one to feel good about the work you have done.
- The body has come into existence through the parents; they made this body for you and this body will go back to and remain in the world. When you have an eye on this reality, the energy, and the consciousness feel separate from the body and experiences the body as a third factor- as something separate, as the second thing, as an object.
- Ashtavakra says that the awareness that you are not this body will be like enlightenment. Even being aware of this will give you a glimpse of what is Being, is just your Self. Walk as though you are already enlightened. You will not think about the things you have done or things you will have or want to do.
Photos from the internet.
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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.