Benefits Of Yoga Asana Postures}

Benefits of Yoga Asana Postures


Dr Ashutosh Gautam

While practicing any yoga asana, different organs are placed in different anatomical positions and are either squeezed or spread, dampened or dried, heated or cooled. The organs are supplied with fresh blood, and are gently massaged, relaxed, and toned into a state of optimum health. The suggested sequence of yoga asanas are mentioned below but before commencing any routine, it is bestto consult a qualified yoga teacher and your physician. This is because each individual is unique with different physical and mental conditions, and socustomizingasanas is essential. To begin practice of classical poses, one should be confident of the suppleness of body and stability of the mind.

Sitting asanas All sitting asanas bring elasticity to the hips, knees, ankles, and groin muscles. These poses remove tension and hardness in the diaphragm and throat, making breathing smoother and easier. They keep the spine steady, pacifying the mind and stretching the muscles of the heart. Examples of sitting asanas: Dandasana (Staff pose), Virasana (Hero Pose), Baddhakonasana(Fixed Angle pose).

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Standing asanas Standing asanas strengthen the leg muscles and joints, and increase the suppleness and strength of the spine. Owing to their rotational and flexing movements, the spinal muscles and inter-vertebral joints are kept mobile and well-aligned. The arteries of the legs are stretched, increasing the blood supply to the lower limbs, and preventing thrombosis in the calf muscles. Examples of standing asanas: Tadasana (Mountain pose), UtthitaTrikonasana (Extended Triangle pose), Virabhadrasana (Warrior pose), Adhomukhasvanasana (Downward-facing Dog stretch), Uttanasana (Intense Forward stretch).

Forward Bends These asanascompress the abdominal organs. This has a unique effect on the nervous system as these organs relax. The sympathetic nervous system is rested, bringing down the pulse rate and blood pressure. Stress is removed from the organs of perception like ear, eyes and skin etc., and the senses relax. Examples of forward bend asanas: Janusirsasana (Head-on-Knee pose), Pachimottanasana (Intense Back stretch).

Twists These asanas teach us the importance of a healthy spine and inner body. In twists, the pelvic and abdominal organs are squeezed and flushed with blood. They improve the suppleness of the diaphragm, and relieve spinal, hip and groin disorders. Examples of twistasanas: Bharadvajasana (Torso stretch), Marichyasana (Torso and leg stretch).

Inversions Just as human beings have evolved to stand against gravity, inversion postures are meant to invert our regular posture and increase the flow of blood to our upper body parts. These asanas have a drying effect on the pelvic and abdominal organs. According to ancient yoga scriptures, SalambaSirsasana (Headstand) is the King of asanas and Salambasarvangasana (Shoulder stand) the Queen of asanas. Practicing these asanas purges the body of its impurities, bringing strength, firmness, calmness and clarity of mind. Examples of inversionasanas: Sirsasana(Head stand), Sarvangasana(Shoulder stand), Halasana(Plough pose).

Back Bends All back bends stimulate the central nervous system and increase its ability to bear stress. They help to relieve and prevent headaches, hypertension and nervous exhaustion. These asana stimulate and energize the body, and are invaluable to people suffering from depression. Examples of back bends: Ustrasana (Camel pose), UrdhaDhanurasana (Bow pose).

Reclining asanas These are restful poses which soothe the body and refresh the mind. While reclining asanas are often sequenced at the end of a yoga session, they are also preparatory asanas, as they help relax the body and strengthen the joints. They give the body the required energy for more strenuous asanas. Examples of reclining asanas: SuptaVirasana (reclining hero stretch), Savasana (corpse pose).

Dr.Ashutosh Gautam

manager clinical operations & brand development at Shree Baidyanath Ayurveda Bhawan

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