The importance of Bandhas in Yoga- Steps & Benefits

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Yoga Bandhas.JPG

Bandha is a yogic lock which enables a yogi to block and then direct the flow of pranic energy in certain ways to change the energy pattern in the body. Remember, when the water flow gets obstructed and then when it gets free, the flow of water becomes much faster with increased pressure, the same thing reflects in Bandha. In this practice, the energy flow to a particular area of the body is blocked and when it gets released, the energy flow becomes stronger. The breath is held during the practice of Bandha. This can be practised either retention of breath inside or outside. There are four types of Bandhas as follows.

  1. Jalandhara Bandha (Throat or Chin Lock)
  2. Uddiyana Bandha (Lift of Diaphragm or Abdominal Lock)
  3. Mula Bandha (Root or Anal lock)
  4. Maha Bandha

Uddiyana and Maha Bandha should only be practised after exhalation, while Jalandhara and Mula Bandha can be practised either after inhalation or exhalation. Bandhas can be practised by either sitting in Vajrasana, Sukhasana or Padmasana. This can be practised before starting the practice of meditation.

Precautions

Discuss with your doctor before practising Bandhas, if you have any recent medical concerns. This breathing exercise should be done on empty stomach having a gap of 4-5 hours between practice and your meal. Practitioners suffering from low or high blood pressure, heart diseases, Ulcers or breathing problem should avoid practising Bandhas. It is advisable to practise Bandhas under the guidance of an experienced Yoga teacher.

Mula Bandha (Root or Anal lock)

Mula Bandha, otherwise known as Anal or Root lock is located in the perineum. It is often advised to hold this lock throughout the asana practice, as it is thought that it keeps all your life prana inside and prevents from leaking down and out. This lock is performed by contracting the perineum muscles of males, whereas for females the contraction involves the region located at the opening of the womb. This can be practised either with Kumbhaka or Rechaka. It awakens the Muladhara Chakra which is located at the base of the spine. In Sanskrit, it’s called मूल बंध.

Benefits

  1. This Bandha helps in stimulating digestion and the endocrine system.
  2. Tones organs in the pelvic regions and increases control over the sex drive.
  3. Regular practice helps to release in depression, stress, anxiety and promotes calmness and energy.
  4. Mula Bandha strengthens your pelvic floor and gives relieve in haemorrhoids.
  5. Since Muladhara chakra gets activated during the Mula Bandha, you get awakened with consciousness and kundalini energy.

Steps

  1. Sit on Padmasana or Sukhasana with your eyes closed and spine erect.
  2. Inhale deeply and hold your breath.
  3. Place your hands on the knees. Bring your upper body slightly forward and looking at your nose, touch your chin to the chest.
  4. Now, concentrate on the Muladhara Chakra (Perineum) and lift your muscle from the groin area (Contract the anal muscles).
  5. Hold your breath and muscular contraction as long as you feel comfortable.
  6. Now, exhale and return to the original position.

Jalandhara Bandha (Throat or Chin Lock)

This is one of the must to do bandhas to get rid of diseases and lead a healthier life. Jalandhara came from the Sanskrit word Jal and Dhara. Jal means the flow of water and Dhara means stopping the flow. This can be practised either with Kumbhaka or Rechaka. Jalandhara Bandha, otherwise known as Throat or Chin Lock is located in the neck. It prevents prana from leaking out of torso throughout the throat. It awakens the Muladhara Chakra which is located in the throat region. In Sanskrit, it’s called जालन्धर बंध.

Benefits

  1. Bandhas stop the flow of blood and when it gets released, there is an increased flow of blood which improves blood circulation throughout the body.
  2. This flushes dead cells, renews, rejuvenate and strengthens your organs.
  3. Helps to concentrate and focus.
  4. Since energy channels get purified, it brings balance and equilibrium in your body while release stress and blockages.
  5. This pose helps to improve the functions of Thyroid, parathyroid glands and spinal cord.
  6. Regular practice can improve the metabolism and overcome the ageing and decay of the body.
  7. Bandhas help to get the blood flow to the vocal cord and thus becomes beneficial for singers and speakers.

Steps

  1. Sit on Padmasana or Sukhasana with your eyes closed and spine erect.
  2. Place your hands on the knees. Take a deep breath and raise your chest and hold your breath for few (8 to 10) seconds.
  3. Now, exhale completely to clear out air from lungs.
  4. Hold your breath and bend forward slowly.
  5. Ensure to push your head and neck to the chest.
  6. Lower your chin while contracting your neck and throat muscles.
  7. Now, looking at your nose, touch your chin to the chest.
  8. Concentrate on the Vishuddhi Chakra and hold the breath for as long as you feel comfortable.
  9. Now, to release raise your chin, neck and come to the starting position.

Uddiyana Bandha (Lifting of Diaphragm or Abdominal Lock)Bahya Pranayama.JPG

Uddiyana Bandha, otherwise known as upward flying is located in the abdomen. In this lock, the breath is kept held outside (Kumbhaka). This lock is performed by pulling the abdomen muscles inwards and upwards while pushing the abdominal muscles against the back side of the spine towards the rib cage. Generally, it is practised along with the Jalandhara Bandha. This lock enables the Prana and Apana to merge at the solar plexus and thus improves the digestive power. It awakens the Manipura Chakra which is located at the naval region. In Sanskrit, it’s called उड्डियान बंध.

Benefits

  1. This Bandha helps to stimulate, lift and retain your prana
  2. It improves the functioning of the adrenal glands.
  3. Brings a higher level of awareness and aids in the higher practices of Dhyana and Samadhi.
  4. Massages internal organs, increases circulation and thus improves digestion.

Steps

  1. Continue from step 9 of Jalandhara Bandha.
  2. Concentrate on the Manipura Chakra and pull your abdominal muscles in and up under the rib cage such that your stomach and back seem to touch each other from the inside.
  3. Hold the breath for as long as you feel comfortable.
  4. Now, to get released from the pose, take a deep inhalation and release the muscular tension.

Maha Bandha

When we combine all the above three bandhas, it becomes Maha Bandha. Practise this Bandha after you become comfortable with all three Bandhas. Start with Mula, then Uddiyana and then Jalandhar Bandha. Reverse the order, while you release the Bandhas. In Sanskrit, it’s called महा बंध.

Now, don’t wait. Enjoy your Bandhas practise and have an awesome day! If you feel this article is helpful to you then share your experience with us by commenting below. We would be happy to hear from you!

“Yoga is a tool for realigning our awareness with the divine, creating a state of oneness that is our true nature”

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How to do Warrior Pose II & its Benefits

How to do a Warrior Pose IIWhen you practice Yoga, your yoga mat becomes the battlefield and obviously, the monkey mind is your enemy as it asks you many questions whether you can practice this pose or that pose. What you need at that time to learn the practice? Umm, You need to strengthen your body and mind to achieve that, isn’t it? There is one yoga pose which helps you to face the challenge and defeat them gracefully with determination. We are talking about a Warrior Pose which is called as Warrior Pose II.

Vira-Courageous or Warrior | Bhadra- Good or Auspicious | Asana-Pose

This asana is pronounced as veer-ah-bah-DRAHS-anna, Sanskrit- वीरभद्रासन. Sometimes, this pose is also called as Virabhadrasana II. This is one of the most graceful poses in Yoga. This basically celebrates the achievements of a mythological warrior. This asana is named after the Hindu mythological warrior called Virabhadra who was an incarnation of Lord Shiva. People say Virabhadra was a tall, dark and fierce warrior depicted with a thousand arms, thousand feet, wearing a tiger’s skin and a garland of skulls.

Level of Asana: Basic Series, Beginner Yoga, Vinyasa style

Stretches: Shoulders, legs, lungs, ankles and groin

Target areas: Ankles, legs

Benefits of Warrior Pose II

  1. This asana helps to promote courage, endurance and improves concentration
  2. Therapeutic for infertility, flat feet, sciatica, osteoporosis, and carpal tunnel syndrome
  3. Stimulates abdominal organs and improves digestion
  4. Stretches shoulders, groins, chest, and lungs
  5. Strengthens and tones abdomen, ankles and arches of the feet
  6. Beneficial for pregnant women in their 2nd trimester as it helps to relieve backaches
  7. Helps to increase flexibility, stamina and develops the balance of body
  8. Increases blood circulation throughout the body
  9. Improves your breathing (respiration) capacity

Precautions

If you have any recent or current medical concerns, discuss with your doctor before practising this yoga pose. Practitioners suffering from high blood pressure, recent knee, hip or shoulder injury shouldn’t practice this pose. People suffering from diarrhea should avoid this pose. Practice this pose under the supervision of a certified yoga teacher, if you had spinal disorders in the past or have just recovered from an illness. If you are suffering from neck problems, then don’t turn your head to look over the front head. Keep your head straight with both sides of the neck lengthened evenly.

Steps to do a perfect Warrior Pose II

  1. Stand straight in Tadasana (Mountain Pose) and with an exhalation spread your legs about three to four feet apart.
  2. Turn your left foot 90 degree outwards and your right foot inwards by about 15 degrees. Make sure that the heel of your left foot is aligned perfectly with that of the right foot.
  3. Now, raise both your arms sideways so that they are at your shoulder height with palms facing downwards and arms parallel to the floor.Warrior Pose-II
  4. Inhale and as you exhale, bend your left knee. Ensure that your left knee and left ankle are in one straight line. Gently turn your head and look to the left.
  5. When you feel comfortable in this position, stretch your arms and gently push your pelvis down. Keep the sides of torso equally long and shoulders should be placed directly over the pelvis.
  6. Press the tailbone slightly towards the pubis. Keep breathing and stay in this pose just like a warrior stays on a battlefield.
  7. Now, inhale and come out of the pose. Exhale and drop your arms. Come to the Tadasana.
  8. Relax and repeat this pose with the other side.

Variations and Modifications

If beginners find their hips very tight, then shorten your stance and straighten your front leg to a degree that is comfortable. Place your hands on your hips if you have a shoulder injury or if you are still building your upper strength. When you bend the left knee to a right angle, bend it very quickly with an exhalation, and aim that the inside of the left knee is towards the little toe side of the left foot.

If you want to increase the stretch in the torso, lean the torso slightly away from the bent leg, and tilt your arms parallel to the line of the top of your shoulders.

Tips

You must make sure to keep your stomach and bowels empty before you practice this pose. Ensure to have your meals at least four to five hours before you do the asana so that your food gets properly digested, and you can expand your body fully during the practice.

Practising Warrior Pose II requires your attention, concentration and proper alignment. Always remember that the leg and foot should be placed first. Ensure that your front knee is aligned with your front ankle. Don’t allow your knee to drift to the left, as this can strain the knee joint and you will end up injuring yourself. Instead of that slightly move out toward the baby toe. Keep your focus on a single point and be like a warrior.

Understand the procedure correctly to reap the benefits of this pose. This pose is pretty beneficial for pregnant women in their second and third trimesters. You must consult your doctor and yoga teacher before practising this pose. Use support at the knee, if you have arthritis or knee problems.

Preparatory Poses

Vrikshasana

Utthita Trikonasana

Baddha Konasana

Supta Padangusthasana

Follow Up Poses

Vrikshasana

Utthita Trikonasana

Bakasana

Warrior Pose II is an amazing tool to build your inner strength and stability. It requires strength, stability and lot of flexibility in the upper body and hips. Practice this pose regularly, and you will become stronger to face daily chaos and battle with ease and grace. Now, you know all the benefits of Warrior Pose and how to be a true warrior, then why to wait? Enjoy your Yoga practice and have an awesome day! Never force your body to master the pose. Take your own time and practice within your own limits and ability. If you feel this article is helpful to you then share your experience with us by commenting below. We would be happy to hear from you!

“Calming the mind is Yoga. Not just standing on the head.”- Swami Satchidananda

How to do Crescent Lunge Pose and its Benefits

“Yoga is the fountain of youth. You’re only as young as your spine is flexible.”

How to do Crescent Lunge Pose

Are you in search of building strength and improve concentration and balance? Today, we are talking about a powerful standing pose which would help to build strength, balance and mental focus. This pose is called as Anjaneyasana. The name Anjaneya comes from matronymic of Hanuman, whose mothers name is Anjani.

Anjaneya-Salutation | Asana-Pose

This asana is pronounced as AHN-jah-nay-AHS-uh-nuh, Sanskrit- अंजनेयासन. Sometimes, this pose is also called as Salutation Pose, which is normally performed in Sun Salutation sequence.

Level of Asana: Basic Series, Vinyasa

Stretches: Glutes, quadriceps and hips

Target areas: Legs, groin and hip

Benefits of Crescent Lunge

  1. This asana helps to expand front of your body.
  2. Reduces fatigue, stress and increases energy by building mental focus
  3. Develops flexibility, stability and balance of your body
  4. Strengthens thighs, hips and butt
  5. Opens chest, shoulders and front torso
  6. Stretches hip flexors, legs and groin of your body
  7. This pose also helps to relieve Sciatica pain

Precautions

If you have any recent medical concerns, discuss with your doctor before practising this yoga pose. Practitioners suffering from heart problem or high blood pressure shouldn’t practice this pose. People suffering from spinal or knee injury should avoid this pose.

Steps to do a perfect Crescent Lunge

  1. Start by entering to Downward Facing Dog Pose. Exhale and step the right foot forward in between your hands.
  2. Now, bend your front knee to 90 degrees and make sure that your right knee is aligned over the heel of your right foot.
  3. Keep your feet hip-width apart and ensure that both feet are facing forward. Keep your front shin perpendicular to the floor.
  4. Stay on the ball of your back foot and lift the heel. Draw the heel forward so that it will be directly aligned over the back toes.
  5. Now, lift your back leg, bring your knee and quadriceps up towards the ceiling and straighten your back leg.
  6. Draw your left hip forward as you press your right hip back. If you are finding it difficult to keep your back leg raised while placing your toes on the ground, then slowly lower your knee to the ground and slide your leg back as shown in the picture. Rest the top of your back foot on the floor.
  7. Inhale and raise your torso. Lift your arms over your head and draw your tailbone towards the floor.
  8. Open your arms so that the palms can face each other. You can also join your palm to come into Prayer Pose. Now, gaze towards the ceiling and then slowly shift back focus to your palm. This will lengthen your body.
  9. Engage the muscles of your abdomen so that you can stabilize your core and balance your body. Ensure that your front shin is vertical.
  10. Stay in this pose for as long as you feel comfortable. To release, bring your hands back to the mat and return to Downward Facing Dog Pose. Relax and repeat on the other side.

Variations and Modifications

Beginners might find it difficult to practice High Lunge in the initial days. They can practice Low Lunge Pose. To reach in that pose, bring your back knee to the floor and rest your back toes. If you are suffering from a shoulder injury or still in the initial days and struggling to build upper body strength, then place your hands on your hips.

If you have already mastered this pose and now wants to deepen the stretch in the quadriceps, then bend your back knee and draw your toes up towards the ceiling. Reach back and gaze towards your hands.

If you want to improve balance, then start practising this pose facing a wall. Press the big toe of your front foot against the wall and reach your arms up and forward. Rest your fingertips on the wall.

Tips

You must make sure to keep your stomach and bowels empty before you practice this pose. Ensure to have your meals at least four to five hours before you do the asana so that your food gets properly digested, and you can expand your body fully during the practice.

Understand the procedure correctly to reap the benefits of this pose. Ensure that your front knee is aligned with the front ankle. Never allow your knee to move to the left, as this can invite injury to your knee joint. Engage the thigh of your back leg and shift your back heel forward. Ensure that your feet are hip-width apart, this will help to maintain balance.

Preparatory Poses

Downward Facing Dog Pose (Adho Mukha Svanasana)

Wide-Legged Forward Bend (Prasarita Padottanasana)

Hero Pose (Virasana)

Follow Up Poses

Chair Pose (Utkatasana)

Warrior Pose

This pose helps to improve awareness and concentration. Regular practice of this pose will bring physical and mental equilibrium in your life. Now, you know all the benefits and how to do both High Lunge and Low Lunge Pose, then why to wait? Enjoy your Yoga practice and have an awesome day!

How to do Yoga Nidrasana & its Benefits

Yoga Nidrasana

“Yoga takes you into the present moment. The only place where life exists.”

What is your most preferred and performed asana in the yoga session? There are many, isn’t it? Today, we are talking about such a popular yoga posture which is practised by both genders and all age groups. Now, you must be thinking why people practice this pose and what’s the name of this pose? It’s called Yoga Nidrasana or Yogic Sleep Pose.

Yoga-Union/Unity | Nidra-Sleep | Asana-Pose/Posture

This asana is pronounced as Yoga-Nidraasana, Sanskrit- योगनिद्रासन. In this pose, you come to the sleeping position and place both the legs behind your head. The objective of this asana is to deeply stretch your lower back and hamstrings. It requires extreme flexibility in the hips and back of your legs. Interesting, isn’t it?

Level of Asana: Intermediate Series, Ashtanga

Stretches: Legs, hips and spinal muscles

Target areas: Feet, legs, hips, waists, stomach, chest, neck, and hand

Benefits of Yoga Nidrasana

  1. Improves blood circulation of your body and stimulates the central nervous system
  2. Stretches chest, lungs, shoulders, throat, upper and lower back
  3. Stimulates abdominal organs and improves digestion
  4. Strengthens and stretches the bones of the spine
  5. Stretches ligaments in the neck region
  6. Improves spinal flexibility and shape the belly
  7. Creates a better posture and reduces mental stress
  8. Tones adrenal glands, pancreas, kidney and lungs
  9. Provides relief from menopause and menstrual cramping

Precautions

If you have any recent medical concerns, discuss with your doctor before practising this yoga pose. Practitioners suffering from leg, hips, back or waist injury shouldn’t practice this pose. Pregnant women and women having periods should avoid practising this pose. It’s always advisable to practice this pose under the guidance of an expert yoga teacher or ask for your partners help.

Steps to do a perfect Yoga NidrasanaHow to do Yoga Nidrasana.png

  1. Lie on your back in Supine position. Inhale and bring up your left leg.
  2. Hold your left foot with both hands and slowly move the foot behind your head while exhalation.
  3. Now, inhale and bring up the right leg and slowly place it behind the left ankle. Ensure that you are rolling back, and your right leg is behind your head.
  4. Cross the feet one above the other and hold the feet in the middle of toes.
  5. Now, move your shoulders out through legs. Inhale and lengthen your body. While you exhale, reach both your hands behind the back and hold the hands.
  6. Keep breathing gently and stay in this pose for as long as you feel comfortable.
  7. To release from the position, gently move your right leg out and then the left leg.
  8. Now, relax in Savasana or Corpse Pose. Repeat this pose for 2 to 3 times.

Variations and Modifications

Beginners might find it difficult to practise during the initial days. They can take help of their partners or an expert yoga teacher to adjust and practise correctly. Place a rolled blanket beneath your body especially the head to support and avoid injury. To deepen the pose, roll your body while holding both hands behind the back.

Practice Supine Spinal Twist Pose to counteract and rejuvenate your body after practising Yoga Nidrasana.

Tips

You must make sure to keep your stomach and bowels empty before you practice this pose. Ensure to have your meals at least four to five hours before you do the asana so that your food gets properly digested, and you can expand your body fully during the practice.

Ensure to warm up your body mainly the hamstrings, core and hips. When you lift your leg behind your head, ensure that you are doing it carefully and gently, since it may cause injuries to muscles if done incorrectly. Don’t force your body at any stage during the pose. Take your own time. With regular practice, you will gain enough strength and flexibility to master this pose.

Preparatory Poses

Setu Bandhasana

Navasana

Sarvangasana

Follow Up Poses

Supine Spinal Twist Pose

Baddha Konasana

Halasana

Now, you know all the benefits and how to sleep with a yogic posture, then why to wait? Enjoy your Yoga practice and have an awesome day! Practice within your own limits and ability. If you feel this article is helpful to you then share your experience with us by commenting below. We would be happy to hear from you!

“The body is your temple. Keep it pure and clean for the soul to reside in”-

B.K.S Iyengar

How to do Dwi Pada Sirsasana & its Benefits

“Its never too late & you are never too old to start from scratch once again”

Dwi Pada Sirsasana.pngAre you ready to bring one more leg behind your head? Yes, we are talking about putting both your legs behind your head.  This pose is called as Dwi Pada Sirsasana, a complex and advanced sitting yoga pose which requires more flexibility and strength in both your leg and groin muscles.

Dwi-Two | Pada-Foot | Sirsa-Head | Asana-Pose

This asana is pronounced as Dwee-Pada-Shirshasana, Sanskrit- द्विपाद शीर्षासन. This pose is also called as Dwi Pada Greevasan. In this pose, both feet are placed behind the head. Like Eka Pada Sirsasana, this pose too requires a great deal of patience and persistence to bring legs behind your head.  It improves your Kundalini power and provides a better body balance.

Level of Asana: Advanced Series, Ashtanga

Stretches: Legs, Hamstrings and Hips

Target areas: Hips and Groin

Benefits of Dwi Pada Sirsasana

  1. Increases stamina and strength of your body
  2. Provides nourishment to your thighs, knees, legs, palms, back, elbow and arms
  3. Helps to increase the flexibility and elasticity of the body
  4. Open up your hips and stretches your leg
  5. Increases blood flow to your body and improves the level of haemoglobin in the blood.
  6. Eliminates toxins from the body and therapeutic for diabetes patients
  7. A very good pose for controlling your nervous system
  8. Massages solar plexus, adrenal glands and increases vitality
  9. Improves digestion and reproductive system

Precautions

If you have any recent medical concerns, discuss with your doctor before practising this yoga pose. Practitioners suffering from sciatica or spinal problem shouldn’t practice this pose. Pregnant women should avoid practising this pose. Avoid this pose, if you are suffering from knee or hip injury. It’s always advisable to practice this pose under the guidance of an expert yoga teacher.

Steps to do a perfect Dwi Pada Sirsasana

Dwi Pada Srisasana Yoga.png

  1. Start by sitting in a comfortable position with your legs extended in front of you in Dandasana.
  2. Bend the right knee and hold your right foot ankle with the left hand and hug the right shin in towards the chest with the help of your right hand.
  3. Ensure that the ankle and knee are in one line. Now, draw your right knee slightly out towards the right side to create room for the right shoulder to fit underneath.
  4. Move your right leg as high as possible and pull it towards the top of your shoulder. Place the right foot behind the head and rest right leg over the right shoulder.Both legs behind head.png
  5. Now, Slowly place your left leg behind the head and rest it over the left shoulder. Cross both the ankles and lock both feet behind the neck.
  6. Keep both your hands on the floor by the side of your hips and balance the body. Make sure that you are sitting straight and erect. After your body gets balanced, bring both the hands and join the palms to come to the Prayer pose.
  7. Ensure that your palms are touching the chest. Stay in this pose as long as you feel comfortable.
  8. Gently lower your body to the ground and release. Come to Dandasana to relax.
  9. Repeat this pose for 2 to 3 times if you feel comfortable.

Variations and Modifications

It’s a complex and challenging pose for beginners.  This pose demands more flexibility and strength in your legs. The focus is to get both the legs over the neck and place it on shoulders. You need to warm up your body before you attempt this pose. Hugging the shin towards the chest helps to open the hips and hamstrings over the days. You can also practice Half Happy Baby pose to gain flexibility. After you master this pose, deepen the stretch by placing the palms on the sides of hip and lifting your body up into the air.

Practice Supine Spinal Twist Pose to rejuvenate and restore your energy after practising Dwi Pada Sirsasana.

Tips

You must make sure to keep your stomach and bowels empty before you practice this pose. Ensure to have your meals at least four to five hours before you do the asana so that your food gets properly digested, and you can expand your body fully during the practice. It’s advisable to practice this pose in the evening as your body becomes flexible after days work.

Ensure to warm up your body mainly the hamstrings, core and hips. This pose teaches us to listen to our body and you must never force your body at any point during this pose. When you lift your legs behind your head, ensure that you are doing it carefully and gently, since it may cause injuries to muscles if done incorrectly or suddenly. Check whether your leg is flexible enough to place it over the shoulder? Take your own time! With regular practice, you will gain enough strength and flexibility to master this pose.

Preparatory Poses

Hugging the shin towards the chest

Pigeon Pose

Follow Up Poses

Bridge Pose

Camel Pose

Wheel Pose

Supine Spinal Twist

Ready to challenge your body and reap the benefits of this pose! Now, you know all the benefits and how to bring your feet behind your head, then why to wait? Enjoy your Yoga practice and have an awesome day! Remember, never force your body to bring your feet behind the head. Take your own time and practice within your own limits and ability. If you feel this article is helpful to you then share your experience with us by commenting below. We would be happy to hear from you!

“Yoga begins right where I am, not where I was yesterday or where I long to be”- Linda Sparrowe

How to do Eka Pada Sirsasana (Foot Behind Head Pose) & its Benefits

“Yoga means addition – An addition of energy, strength and beauty to body, mind and soul.”- Amit Ray

Eka Pada Sirsasana

Are you ready to stretch your body and practice a fun pose to bring a smile on your face? We are talking about putting your leg behind your head.  This pose is called as Eka Pada Sirsasana. This is an advanced sitting yoga pose which required flexibility and strength in your leg and groin muscles.

Eka-One | Pada-Foot | Sirsa-Head | Asana-Pose

This asana is pronounced as Eka-Pada-Shirshasana, Sanskrit- एकपाद शीर्षासन. In this pose, one foot is placed behind the head. Eka Pada Sirsasana requires a great deal of patience and persistence to bring your leg behind your head.

Level of Asana: Advanced Series, Ashtanga

Stretches: Leg, Hamstrings and Hips

Target areas: Hips and Groin

Benefits of Eka Pada Sirsasana

  1. This asana helps to increase the flexibility of legs
  2. Open up your hips and stretches your back muscles
  3. It massages the side parts of abdomen and tones the sexual organs
  4. Regular and extended period of practice can be therapeutic for varicose veins
  5. Stretches the hips, hamstrings and glutes

Precautions

If you have any recent medical concerns, discuss with your doctor before practising this yoga pose. Practitioners suffering from sciatica shouldn’t practice this pose. Pregnant women should avoid this pose. Practice with caution if you are suffering from knee, hip, back or neck problems. It’s always advisable to practice this pose under the guidance of an expert yoga teacher.

Steps to do a perfect Eka Pada Sirsasana

  1. Start by sitting in a comfortable position with your legs extended in front of you in Dandasana.
  2. Bend the right knee and hold your right foot ankle with the left hand and hug the right shin in towards the chest with the help of your right hand.
  3. Ensure that the ankle and knee are in one line.
  4. Now, draw your right knee slightly out towards the right side to create room for the right shoulder to fit underneath.How to do Eka Pada Sirsasana.png
  5. Move your right leg as high as possible and pull it towards the top of your shoulder.
  6. Now, place the right foot behind the head and rest right leg over the right shoulder.
  7. Adjust your position and make sure that you are sitting straight and erect.
  8. Now, bring both the hands down and join the palms to come to the Prayer pose.
  9. Ensure that your palms are touching the chest.
  10. Stay in this pose as long as you feel comfortable.
  11. Now, release from the pose and come to Dandasana to relax.
  12. Repeat this pose with left leg above the shoulders.

Variations and Modifications

Beginners might find it difficult to practice this pose in the initial days.  This pose demands flexibility and strength in your legs. You need to warm up your body before you attempt this pose. Hugging the shin towards the chest helps to open the hips and hamstrings over the days. You can also practice Half Happy Baby pose to gain flexibility.

Foot over Head PoseAfter you master this pose, deepen the stretch by extending your left leg in front of your body, while your right leg is still behind the head. Inhale and while you exhale, come forward and try to touch the left knee, just like you practice Paschimottanasana.

Practice Supine Spinal Twist Pose to rejuvenate and restore your energy after practising Eka Pada Sirsasana.

Tips

You must make sure to keep your stomach and bowels empty before you practice this pose. Ensure to have your meals at least four to five hours before you do the asana so that your food gets properly digested, and you can expand your body fully during the practice.

Ensure to warm up your body mainly the hamstrings, core and hips. When you lift your leg behind your head, ensure that you are doing it carefully and gently. Otherwise, you may cause injuries to the muscles if done incorrectly or suddenly. Check that your leg is flexible enough to place it over the shoulder? Don’t force your body at any stage during the pose. Take your own time. With regular practice, you will gain enough strength and flexibility to master this pose. Listen to your body.

 

Preparatory Poses

Hugging the shin towards the chest

Pigeon Pose

Follow Up Poses

Bridge Pose

Camel Pose

Wheel Pose

Supine Spinal Twist

Eka Pada Sirsasana is a great way to open your hips. Now, you know all the benefits and how to do foot behind head Pose, then why to wait? Enjoy your Yoga practice and have an awesome day! Remember, never force your body to bring your foot behind the head. Take your own time and practice within your own limits and ability. If you feel this article is helpful to you then share your experience with us by commenting below. We would be happy to hear from you!

“Change is not something that we should fear. Rather, it is something that we should welcome. For without change, nothing in this world would ever grow or blossom, and no one in this world would ever move forward to become the person they’re meant to be.”- B.K.S Iyengar