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Some Yoga Poses


Some Yoga Poses

Yoga offers many wonderful benefits to all people, from women to children, to athletes; it isn’t a one-size fits-all form of exercise, rather, it’s a practice that suits everybody regardless of age or personality. It balances your body, thoughts and feelings, helping you become more conscious.

But you should know that yoga isn’t defined by the practices that you do in yoga class, it is more accurately defined as the state of union that you experience through a yoga practice. Here are some poses:

 

BHARADVAJA'S TWIST:

 

Bharadvajasana I:

yoga pose 1

Bharadvaja is the name of one of the legendary seers who is credited for composing the hymns collected in the Vedas.

 

How to do it:

  • Sit on the floor with your legs stretched right in front of you. Bend your knees and swing your legs to the left after shifting over onto your right buttock. Lay your feet on the floor outside your left hip and rest your left ankle in the right arch. 
  • Inhale and lift through the top of the sternum to lengthen your front torso. Then exhale, and keeping your left buttock on or very close to the floor, twist your torso to the right. To keep your lower back long, lengthen your tailbone toward the floor. Soften your belly.
  • Tuck your left hand under your right knee and bring your right hand to the floor just beside your right buttock. Press your shoulder blades firmly against your back even as you continue to twist your chest to the right, and pull your left shoulder back slightly.
  • You could turn your head in one of two directions: by turning your torso to the right, you can continue twisting it, or by turning your torso left and looking over your left shoulder at your feet, you can counter the twist of the torso.
  • Lift a little more through the sternum with every inhalation using the push of the fingers on the floor to help. Twist a little more with every exhalation. Release with an exhalation after staying for 30 seconds to 1 minute, and then return to the starting position to repeat to the left for the same length of time.

 

The anatomical focus of this pose is on the upper back. Therapeutically, it is mainly useful for stress relief. This pose is:

 

  • Therapeutic for carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Particularly good in the second trimester of pregnancy for strengthening the lower back
  • Improves digestion
  • Relieves stress
  • Stretches the spine, shoulders and hips
  • Relieves sciatica, lower backache and neck pain
  • Massages the abdominal organs

 

Contraindications and cautions:

  • Insomnia
  • Diarrhea
  • Menstruation
  • Headache
  • Low blood pressure
  • High blood pressure

 

Tip for beginners:

If you tilt onto the twisting-side buttock that compresses the lower back, raise it up on a thickly folded blanket. Sink both sitting bones toward the floor consciously.

 

VARIATIONS:

 

Bharadvajasana II:

yoga pose 2

  • Sit on the floor with your legs straight in front of you.
  • Exhale and draw your left leg into Virasana (Hero Pose), then your right leg into Padmasana (Lotus Pose). Support your right knee with a thickly folded blanket if it doesn’t rest comfortably on the floor.
  • Twist to the right and grip the outside of your right knee with your left hand.
  • Exhale and swing your right arm around behind your back and grip your right foot. You can use a strap if it isn't possible for you to grip your foot directly.

 

Modifications and props:

yoga pose 3

For an easier variation of this pose, sit sideways on a chair with the chair back to your right. Bring your knees together and your heels directly below your knees. Exhale and twist toward the chair back. Hold onto the sides of the chair back and lift your elbows up and out to the sides as if you were pulling the chair back apart. Use your arms to help widen your upper back and move the twist into the space between the shoulder blades.

 

Partnering:

A partner can help you learn to ground the opposite-side buttock. You can have your partner stand to your left side if you are twisting to the right, and place his/her left foot on the very top of your left thigh with the inner edge of the foot in the groin. At first apply gentle pressure and then increase it as seems appropriate. Exhale into your twist but keep your top left thigh releasing away from your partner's foot.

 

Deepen the pose:

By slightly varying the position of the arms and hands you can increase the challenge in this pose.

 

  • First exhale and swing your right arm around behind your back as you twist to the right
  • Grip your left arm just at the elbow with your right hand if you can. If you can't, you can hold a strap looped around the left elbow.
  • Turn your left arm outward so that your palm faces away from your knees, and slip your hand under the right knee with your palm on the floor.

 

BOUND ANGLE POSE:

 

Baddha Konasana:

yoga pose 4

Baddha means bound, while kona means angle.

 

How to do it:

  • Sit with your legs straight out in front of you. If your hips or groins are tight, you can raise your pelvis on a blanket.
  • Exhale, bend your knees, pull your heels toward your pelvis and then drop your knees out to the sides and press the soles of your feet together.
  • Bring your heels as close to your pelvis as you comfortably can. Grasp the big toe of each foot with your first and second finger and thumb. Always keep the outer edges of your feet firmly on the floor. You can clasp each hand around the same-side ankle or shin in case it isn't possible for you to hold your toes.
  • Sit in a way that the pubis in front and the tailbone in your back are equidistant from the floor. In this way, the perineum will be approximately parallel to the floor and the pelvis in a neutral position. Firm your sacrum and shoulder blades against your back and lengthen your front torso through the top of the sternum.
  • DO NOT force your knees down. Release the heads of the thigh bones toward the floor instead. When this action leads, the knees follow.
  • Stay in the pose from 1 to 5 minutes and then inhale, lift your knees away from the floor, and extend your legs back to their original position.

 

The anatomical focus of this pose is on the thighs. It can be therapeutically applied in cases of sciatica. This pose:

 

  • Helps relieve mild depression, fatigue and anxiety
  • Soothes menstrual discomfort and sciatica
  • Stimulates abdominal organs, ovaries and prostate gland, kidneys and bladder
  • Is therapeutic for flat feet, asthma, high blood pressure and infertility
  • Traditional texts say that Baddha Konasana destroys disease and gets rid of fatigue
  • Stretches the inner thighs, knees and groins
  • Consistent practice of this pose until late into pregnancy is said to help each childbirth
  • Stimulates the heart and improves general circulation
  • Helps relieve symptoms of menopause

 

Contraindications and cautions:

Knee or groin injury: This pose should be performed only with blanket support under the outer thighs.

 

Tip for beginners:

Lowering the knees toward the floor can be difficult. You should make sure to sit on a high support, even as high as a foot off the floor in case your knees are very high and your back rounded.

 

VARIATIONS:

Exhale and lean your torso forward between your knees. You should come forward from your hips and not your waist. Bend your elbows and push them against the inner thighs or calves, but NEVER on the knees. Support your head on a block or the front edge of a chair sit in case it doesn’t rest comfortably on the floor.

 

Modifications and props:

Fold two blankets and put one under each outer thigh, supporting the thighs an inch or so above their maximum stretch to understand the release of the heads of the thigh bones. Lay a ten pound sand bag on each inner groin parallel to the crease between the thigh and pelvis. Release the thigh heads away from the weight and let them sink into the blankets. Unless your thighs are supported, don’t use the bags.

 

Partnering:

You can learn how to work your inner thighs in this pose with the help of a partner. Perform Baddha Konasana. Loop a strap over each groin with the free ends of the straps leading away from your back torso. Have your partner sit behind you and pull on the straps perpendicular to the line of the thighs. At the same time, your partner can also press one foot lightly against the back of your pelvis. Releasing the heads of the thigh bones away from the straps, lean slightly forward.

 

Follow-up poses:

You can do standing poses and most forward bends and seated twists.

 

Deepen the pose:

Imagine you have two partners, each pressing inward on one knee toward the pelvis. Push out along the outer thighs from the middle of your sacrum against this imaginary resistance. Then, push the heels firmly together from the knees.

-------------------------------------

Prepared By: Dr. Mehyar Al-Khashroum
Edited By: Miss Araz Kahvedjian


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