Yoga Mudrasana

yoga mudrasana picture

Yoga Mudrasana is the symbol of yoga aka “Union Pose”.  The word “yoga” comes from the Sanskrit word meaning “union” or “to unite”.  This refers, of course, to the union between the body and the mind which is the essence of yoga.  Yoga Mudrasana is a deep forward bend that’s been credited with benefits such as anti-aging and preventing disease and it is one the finishing postures in the Prana Vashya Primary Series.

How to get into the position

Yoga Mudrasana is classified as a yoga asana or ‘position’, despite the name suggesting that it is a mudra (which is a type of hand posture).   To get into the position you must start in Padmasna or “lotus pose” and reach your arm around your back (grasping hold of the lower foot first).  Then reach your other hand around your back and grasp hold of the upper foot to complete the bind.  To complete the position: inhale and straighten your spine before you exhale and bend forward; chin to floor (keeping your buttocks firmly on the ground).

Variations to the full posture

Yoga Mudrasana is normally difficult for beginners.  With this is mind there are few variations to the pose that you can do to build up to the full position.  The most basic variation is sitting cross-legged and folding your forehead to the floor by your right knee and hold for five full breaths; extending the spine on each inhalation and trying to move the chin the floor by the knee on each exhalation.  This should then be repeated on the other (left hand) side for a full five breaths.  Once you can do this with ease, try the same again but with your legs folded in half lotus.  This way you can build yourself up to full lotus.

If you are able to cross your legs in (full) lotus pose but you are struggling to bind your arms from behind your back, then, as a modification to the full posture, try holding your elbows from behind.  In time, your shoulders will open and you will be able to achieve the full position.  Do not force anything; forget about the end result and be patient.

Benefits

Yoga Mudrasana tones the spine, lower back and the abdomen and improves flexibility to the back and the hips.  This asana was practiced by the ancient sages in India and has the power to awaken the inner Self.

Contraindications

Do not attempt this position if you have any type of serious abdominal ailment.  In addition, proceed cautiously if you have any problem with your knees or hips.

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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Parsvottanasana

priymid pose picture

Parsvottanasana aka “intense side stretch” or “pyramid pose” – is part of the Prana Vashya standing series.  With the combined benefits of forward bending, backward bending, and balancing, it requires relaxed concentration to maintain the correct alignment.

How to get into Parsvottanasana

Standing with your feet about 3½ feet apart and turn to the right and square your chest – rotating your torso to the right – above the forward (right) thigh. Then fold your hands behind your back in ‘reverse prayer’ position; see above picture (or, alternatively, you can hold your elbows from behind).

Exhale as you fold forward over the right leg bringing the torso over the thigh and pressing the backward foot to ground the back heel and hold the position for five full breaths. Then come up with an inhalation by pressing actively through the back heel and repeat on the left side.

Do not turn bend your knees; keep them extended to maximize the stretch on the hamstrings. Keep your hips square with the front edge of your mat to protect your lower back.

Benefits

Calms the mind, improves lung mobility and digestion.  Parsvottanasa also stretches the hamstrings, hips, spine, shoulders and wrists.

Contraindications

Avoid this posture if you have a back injury or high blood pressure.

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/

 

The completion of the Sun Salutation: Tadasana

Once you get to the ninth position in the Prana Vashya sun salutation, you then repeat three of the positions that you have already done: Eka Padasana, Urdva Prasaritha Eka Pada Uttasana and Hasta Pada Asana.

Therefore, starting in one-legged mountain pose (the ninth position in the Sun Salutation) having inhaled and raised the leg; you hold your breath, step back and free your hips in Eka Padasana.  Then, continuing to hold your breath, you lift the rear leg with straight knees in Urdva Prasaritha Eka Pada Uttasana before exhaling and folding forward for Hasta Pada Asana (as pictured above).

To complete the Sun Salutation, you come into Tadasana or “equilibrium position” (as pictured below).

How to get into Tadasana

Starting, then, in Hasta Pada Asana (having folded forward) you come up onto your tip toes before the inhalation and extend your arms level with your ears.  You then inhale and come up keeping your arms level with your ears until you are stood straight and upright on your toes. In the Bhagavad Gita it is said of yoga: samatvam yoganuchyate or “yoga is balance.” Let the breath guide you toward a relaxed but focused state of being whilst you come up and then hold the position.

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Finally, you exhale and come into standing position, with your arms by your sides, to complete the Sun Salutation.

Benefits

Tadasana improves your posture and dissolves fat in the abdomen and buttocks.  It also strengthens the thighs, knees, and ankles.

Contraindications

Do not attempt this position if you have any recent or chronic injury to the ankles or if you have low blood pressure.

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/