Sashtangasana

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Sashtangasana is so named for the eight points of contact with the floor—hands, feet, knees, chest, and chin and translates as “position held by 8 limbs of the body”.  This posture follows Dwipadasana or “plank pose”; it is the sixth position in the Prana Vashya sun salutation and its sequencing is significant.

How to get into the position

Starting, then, in plank pose (having exhaled all the air from your lungs) and ensuring your wrists are in line with the outer shoulders and knees under the hips, shift your bodyweight slightly forward and lower your knees, chest and forehead to the ground.  Keeping your chin and elbows tucked-in and raising your tailbone to the ceiling so that your hips are high (do not collapse your hips).

Do not attempt to breath in this position.  Sashtangasana is a transitional position in the Prana Vashya sun salutation and the breath must be held out because the diaphragm is trapped, and the chin is tucked in, so it is impossible to breath without straining internal organs.  This posture is designed not to support breathing but rather the control of the breath.

Prana Vashya Yoga considers the breath as the key channel in directing consciousness towards the pranaPrana is life and living refers to being present; not just physically but consciously.  Through control of breath in yoga, you can develop a healthy mind and body.  Such good health is a pre-requisite for understanding the Self.   So we work to increase our awareness and to develop control over mind and body.

If your shoulders and chest are tight and not open yet, then as a modification to the full Sashtangasana, try putting your chin on the floor instead of your forehead.

Benefits

This position is great for opening the hips, shoulders and chest and general upper body strengthening.  It also elongates the spine and is a gentle backbend.

Contraindications

Do not attempt this position if you have any recent or chronic injury to the wrists, elbows, shoulders, back or neck.

Damian is an authorised teacher of Prana Vashya Yoga.  To book a class with Damian you can contact him by:

Email: damiancadmanjones@gmail.com

Tel: 0777 900 1896

Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/queensroadyoga/

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Finding the right yoga mat for you

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Many people turn to yoga in the winter months as a relief from the everyday stress that piles up this time of year and there are a bewildering range of option when it comes to buying a new mat.

The feel that your mat gives you matters most. Textured mats and rubber mats are ideal for more active types of yoga — like prana vashya yoga — because of all the bending, sliding, stretching and balancing required. All your perspiration would make it difficult for PVC and foam mats to stay sticky. For lower-intensity yoga — such as ying yoga — comfort may be a higher priority as you’ll be on the floor for longer.

The yoga mat you choose should reflect your experience and dedication. Basically, if you’re new to yoga you should be looking more at basic, entry-level mat.  However, if you are an experienced yogi and/or dedicated then I would urge you to read the following link which is a good review of the more advanced-level mats: http://www.reviews.com/best-yoga-mat/

Damian is an authorised teacher of Prana Vashya Yoga.  To book a class with Damian you can contact him by:

Email: damiancadmanjones@gmail.com

Tel: 0777 900 1896

Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/queensroadyoga/