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4.0 Adho Mukho Svanasana
Yoga is an ancient form of fitness that was originated in India which helps in developing strength, balance, flexibility etc. Yoga consists of various asanas that are body postures or poses. A general term for asana is a sitting meditation pose.
In medieval yoga texts, asanas not only provided physical benefits but also spiritual gains. Recent studies have shown that apart from physical strength, it also helps in alleviating many diseases like diabetes, asthma etc. It creates balance and helps in reducing stress. Asana actually means a steady and comfortable posture.
University of Illinois conducted a study which concluded that a short session of yoga helps in keeping mind focused. There are numerous postures in yoga that involves the body parts. All this completely depends on asanas that one performs.
The 10 basic types of asanas in yoga are as follows:
Tadasana (Mountain pose)
It basically means to stand steady like a mountain. The term ‘tada’ means mountain so this pose is basically a mountain pose. Tadasana is the starting position for all the asanas. This asana is done by standing on your heels and keeping the arms besides torso. Here one should try to balance the weight of the body on the feet. Inhaling and exhaling continues as the hands and legs are stretched. This asana helps in improving focus and attention.
Vrikshasana (Tree pose)
Vrikshasana is done by placing the right foot high on the left foot. The leg should be firm and one must try to balance while inhaling and exhaling. The sole of the foot should be kept flat. It replicates the steady tree.
The main benefit of this pose is that it improves the balance of the body and gives a sense of grounding. It also helps in strengthening legs, the hip bones and back. It establishes pelvic stability and strengthens the tendon of the feet. It also helps in boosting feelings of self-confidence and self-esteem.
Adho Mukho Svanasana (downward facing dog pose)
In Adho Mukho Svanasana, the hind strings and chest are stretched which provides the extra blood flow to the head. It is done by sitting on the heels and stretching the arms forward by lowering the head. This asana is done on the yoga mat. It is one of the most popular yogas. Here the body should be in the inverted v position and the feet should be flat on the floor. It is also known as a tabletop position.
There are many health benefits of this asana. It tones the lower abdominal region and strengthen the bones. It helps in improving the blood flow to the brain and also improving the body posture.
Trikonasana (Triangle pose)
Tri means three and kon is the angle of the body which points towards three directions. Here the body takes the shape of an extended triangle. The muscles, arms and limbs are stretched. Trikonasana is done by keeping the feet pressed against the ground and one needs to maintain the balance equally on both the feet. There are various benefits of Trikonasana.
One of the most important benefit of Trikonasana is that it helps the body in relieving indigestion, acidity and gastritis. As it is a triangle pose and done by bending the body, it helps in flexibility of the spine and gives strength to the ankles and palms. Apart from physical benefits, it also helps in reducing stress and anxiety. Trikonasana helps in reduction of discomfort during menstruation.
Kursiasana (chair pose)
Kursiasana is a standing yoga posture where one needs to bend the knees and push the pelvis down like its sitting on the chair. One should bend gradually and not let the knees go beyond the toes. There are many benefits of Kursiasana.
It improves the body balance, strengthens the ankles, stretches shoulders, stimulates the heart, reduces stress, reduces flat feet, builds the willpower etc. It has an energizing effect on the body.
Naukasana (Boat Pose)
The term naukasana comes from two words in Sanskrit. ‘Nauka’ means boat and ‘Asana’ means pose. In naukasana, the body takes the pose of a boat. It is done by lying back on the mat with the feet together and keeping hands on the side. It can be done by lying on the stomach as well as back. The hands should be stretched in the direction of the feet.
After exhaling, one must come back to the ground and relax. This yoga pose is little complicated for a beginner. One of the main benefits of Naukasana is that it is effective in burning the belly fat and toning the abs; as stretching and compressing is done in abdominal region. Apart from strengthening the abdominal muscles, it also strengthens the arms, thighs and shoulders. It regulates the blood flow and sugar level. It helps in improving the liver, pancreas and kidneys.
Due to the stretching and relaxing of abdominal region, it helps in digestion and eases constipation. It also helps in keeping the mind and body relaxed and free.
Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose)
Bhujangasana is done by lying on the stomach by putting feet together and toes flat. While inhaling, one should lift the waist and raise the head. Elbows should be kept straight and there should be equal pressure on both the palms. While exhaling, one should come back to the ground.
This pose visually reflects the posture of a cobra and hence called a cobra pose. One of the main uses of Bhujangasana is that it strengthens the spine and helps in stretching chest, lungs, shoulders and abdomen. It tones the buttocks and is quite remedial for asthma.
This asana is done by sitting up with back straight and pointing the toes outwards. While inhaling, hands should be raised and stretched over the head and while exhaling, the hands should be brought down and placed forward so that they can touch the toes. But one should not force themselves to touch the tows if unable to.
This asana is very beneficial as it stretches the spines and shoulders. It helps in stimulating the liver, kidney, ovaries and uterus. If there is menstrual discomfort then it helps in relieving the pain. It acts as a therapy for high blood pressure, infertility and sinusitis. It also helps in reduction of obesity and improves digestion.
Balasana (Child’s pose)
This asana is done by bending the knees and sitting on the heels. By lowering the head on the mat and bringing the hands forward by the side, one should press the thighs against the chest while breathing lightly.
Balasana is performed with an open mind and its main goal is to touch the forehead to the ground. One of the main benefits of child’s pose is that it reduces stress and anxiety and also releases tension in the back, shoulders and chest. It stretches the spine, hips, thighs etc. It calms the body and mind.
Sukhasana is done by sitting on a mat in a comfortable position with crossing the legs and keeping the spine straight. The main aim of this asana is sitting in a comfortable position and relaxing. This asana is used mainly for meditating, relaxing the muscles and for breathing exercises. Sukasana provides stillness and tranquility when life gets challenging. It straightens the spine and back muscles and stretches the external aspect of the knees.
These are the 10 types of yoga poses or asanas. Yoga today has become even more popular not only for its physical benefits, but also because it acts as a mental therapy to reduce stress and anxiety. It helps in reduction of weight, cardio and circulatory health.
It also helps in maintaining metabolism and for increasing flexibility. It improves the respiration and increases muscle strength and tone. These asanas have various benefits and they also develop inner awareness.