Veerabhadrasana (A)

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Veerabhadrasana a.k.a. “Warrior Pose” gets is name from the great warrior Virabhadra; incarnation of Shiva. It is part of the Prana Vashya Primary Series standing sequence series of postures which are designed to work all the muscles that support the pelvis.  The sequence also prepares you for back-bending.

How to get into the position

From standing at the top of your yoga mat, inhale and turn to the right with your feet apart by 3-4 feet and your arms extended; level with your shoulders.  Turn your right foot to the right by 90 degrees and turn your left foot to the right by about 45 degrees so that both of your feet are turned right.  Then, as you exhale, square your chest and hips forward and bend your right knee so that the thigh is at a right angle to the floor.

With every inhalation, extend your arms to open your chest.  With every exhalation, try to square your hips further to bend the knee.   Hold for five full breaths.  Repeat on the other side.

If you are struggling to hold this pose you can take your hands to your hips to begin with.

Benefits

Veerabhadrasana (a):

  • Dissolves body fat from the waistline
  • Strengthens and stretches the inner thighs
  • Increases stamina
  • Helps with backache
  • Therapeutic for flat feet, infertility and sciatica

Contraindications and Cautions

Avoid this posture if you have issues with 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/

 

 

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Prapadasana

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Prapadasana aka ‘tip toe pose’ requires balance, flexibility, and strength.

How to get into the position

Starting from a squatting position, balancing on your tip toes/ the balls of your feet (with your heels lifted), take your right heel directly under the perineum so your foot is lifted and placed in lotus position on top of the left thigh (with the sole of the foot facing up). Then you can bring your palms together into prayer position in front of your chest. Be sure to fix your vision on a single point on the floor to maintain balance.

Hold this position for five full breaths.  On every inhalation, straighten your spine and with every exhalation try to lower your pelvis.  The posture is then repeated on the other side.

Benefits

Prapadasana:  

  • Improves balance and concentration
  • Develops core strength
  • Keeps the reproductive system healthy
  • Opens the hips

Contraindications and Cautions

Avoid this posture if you have any recent or chronic injury to the feet, ankles or knees.

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/

 

 

Parivrutha Trikonasana

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Parivrutha Trikonasana aka ‘revolved triangle pose’ prepares your for forward-bending and twisting postures and it is one of the opening positions in the Prana Vashya Primary Series.

How to get into the position

Starting from standing position at the top of your mat, turn to the right and step your feet apart by 3.5 to 4 feet with your arms outstretched parallel to the floor; palms down. Turn your left foot in by about 45 degrees and your right foot out to 90 degrees.

Align the right heel with the left heel (however, if you are a beginner then it can help to have your feet waist width apart to assist with your balance).  Then turn your right thigh outward and place your right palm on your lower back.  Finally, twist your torso to take your left hand to your right foot (or ankle or shin or knee to begin with) and roll your upper shoulder to extend your right arm above the shoulder.  Fix your vision point on the raised hand.

Do not look at the floor coming into the position as that will affect your alignment.  Also, be careful not to put too much weight on the lower palm or else your hip will collapse, and proper alignment compromised.

Hold this position for five full breaths.  On every inhalation, extend the upper arm to open your chest and with every exhalation try to turn your chest further to the side.

Benefits

Parivrutha Trikonasana:  

  • Helps with digestive problems and asthma
  • Helps to relieve the symptoms of sciatica
  • Helps cure alignments of the lower back

Contraindications and Cautions

Avoid this posture if you have issues with blood pressure or if you suffer from migraines or insomnia.  If you have any issue with your neck, then fix your vision point on the floor instead of looking up.

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/

 

 

Baddha Padmasana

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Baddha Padmasana aka ‘caught angle pose’ or ‘bound lotus pose’ is an advanced version of lotus pose and it is one of the Prana Vashya Primary Series finishing postures which releases tension from the lower extremities.

How to get into the position

Starting from Padmasana (a.k.a ‘lotus pose’), keep your feet high on your thighs and close to your groin with your heals facing your own face.  Reach your arm behind your back and grasp the lower foot from behind.  Now bow forward a little and reach your other arm behind your back and grasp the upper foot from behind to complete the bind.  Sit straight and hold this position for five full breaths.

On every inhalation try to straighten your spine.  On every exhalation try to bind further.

Repeat the same process with your alternate legs and hands also.

Benefits

Baddha Padmasana:

  • improves concentration
  • improves flexibility of the joints of the lower limbs
  • improves the posture of the spine
  • regular practice of this yoga asana is beneficial in Arthritis

Contraindications and Cautions

Avoid this posture if you have issues with your knees or ankle.

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/

 

 

Veerabhadrasana (C)

Veerabhadraana C pic

Veerabhadrasanas namesake is the great warrior Virabhadra; incarnation of Shiva. When you move into ‘warrior pose’ you connect with the warrior within, that is part of you that is strong and confident.

Veerabhadrasana is one of the Prana Vashya Primary Series standing sequence of postures which works the muscles that support the pelvis and prepares you for back-bending.

How to get into the position

From standing at the top of your yoga mat, turn to the right with your feet apart by 3-4 feet and your arms extended; level with your shoulders.  Turn both feet to the right and bend your right knee so that the thigh is at a right angle to the floor.  Then turn your whole body the right and square your hips forward and lie down on the forward thigh stretching your arms forward, parallel to the floor, inhaling.

Exhale and stand up on the forward leg whilst extending your leg behind and your arms in front of you at the same time (so that you synchronize the straightening of the forward leg and the lifting of the back leg; using your limbs as a counter-balance to one another).

With every inhalation, extend your arms to open your chest.  With every exhalation, try to straighten the rear leg bringing it level with the hip.   Hold for five full breaths.

If you are struggling to hold this pose you can take your hands to your hips to assist with balance.

Benefits

Veerabhadrasana:

  • Works the hamstrings, ankles and legs and the muscles along the back
  • Dissolves body fat from the waistline

Contraindications and Cautions

Avoid this posture if you have issues with 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/

 

 

Arm balancing

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The pick up

The arm balancing sequence of postures in Prana Vashya Yoga works on strengthening your arms before stretching them to improve flexibility and release tension.  Unlike the use of your legs (as we are on our feet for most of the day) your arms need strengthening first.

The pick-up (as pictured above) is part of the ‘pick-up and jump back’ transition in Ashtanga yoga. It is similar to, and a slightly more advanced version of, Tolasana a.k.a scale posethat is part of the Prana Vashya finishing postures (in which you also lift the weight of your body on your hands, albeit with crossed legs). Extending your legs out in-front of you, then, requires additional strength.

With a regular practice of the Prana Vashya Yoga you can quickly build up the necessary strength for advanced arm balancing postures like Ashtanga’s ‘pick-up and jump back’ routine.  The sequence of postures in Prana Vashya increases proprioception; training your muscles to work independently (for example, when you move your shoulder it should not disturb your lower back).  This way, your muscles better support your joints.  When we talk about strength in yogic terms therefore, we speak about localised strength in a muscle; a muscle being able to take the weight or meet the demand being put on it without using other muscles in the body as well.

Benefits

Mastering arm balancing, including the pick-up transition, will make you incredibly strong and it increases awareness and confidence.

Contraindications and Cautions

Avoid this posture if you have any shoulder, wrist, elbow, or lower back issues.

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/

 

 

 

Bhujapeedasana

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Bhujapeedasana aka “shoulder press pose” is an balancing posture in which you stand on both hands with your legs wrapped around your shoulders and feet crossed in front of you.  It is one of the Prana Vashya Primary Series arm balancing postures.

How to get into the position

Standing with your feet waist width apart, bend forward and take your arms inside your legs placing the shoulder inside and locking it against the back of your thighs.  Sit on your arms without placing the weight on them and without collapsing the position.  Ensure that your elbows are turned out and lift your knees up towards your ears to reduce the weight of your legs on your arms.  Hold this position for five full breaths.

With every inhalation, lift your waist high.  With every exhalation, press the palms of your hands against the floor to lift your knees.  Do not sit your weight on your arms; lift your knees.

At first, you will fall over when you attempt the full position!  In time however, you will build up the necessary strength.  Until then, don’t give up (!) and try coming up on your tip toes and work up towards taking all the weight into the palms and lifting your feet off the floor.

Benefits

Bhujapeedasana:

  • works the muscles along the anterior line of the body and the psoas, wrists, shoulders, and arms;
  • stimulates the thyroid gland regulating metabolism and balancing the nervous system; and
  • improves circulation.

Contraindications and Cautions

Avoid this posture if you have any shoulder, wrist, elbow, or lower back issues.

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/

 

 

Pindasana

 

Pindasna aka “ear pressure pose” is an inverted posture in which both the ears are pressed by the bent legs and is one of the Prana Vashya Primary Series finishing postures.

How to get into the position

From Padma Sarvangasana (i.e. shoulderstand with your legs folded in lotus) and on the inhalation, bend your knees down to your chest bringing them by your ears so that they rest on the floor.  Then as you exhale, bind your hands and move your thighs closer to your abdomen so that they remain together.  Hold this position for five full breaths.

With every inhalation, lift your waist high.  With every exhalation, try to bend your knees more towards your chest and bind your hands further.  Ensure you keep the weight on your shoulders.

Benefits

Pindasana:

  • helps release tension from the hips
  • purifies the liver and spleen
  • strengthens the uterus and/or rectum

Contraindications and Cautions

Avoid this posture if you have any ankle, knee or hip issues.

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/

 

Newly refurbished Prana Vashya Yoga Studio (Queens Rd., Leicester) NOW OPEN!

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Class times include:

The early bird –                 6.30 am to 8.00 am

Evening –                              6.30 pm to 8.00 pm

Why Prana Vashya Yoga?

Prana Vashya employs a unique approach to the breath during your yoga practice to make you physically and psychologically stronger in a natural way. It is through the nervous system that emotions and mental activities change breathing.  If you learn to control your breathing, you can conquer the life force which is deeply connected with the mind.  This unique approach towards the breath serves as additional support for you to accomplish postures without stressing any internal or external parts of the body.  The pattern of breath you maintain during each session also causes you to develop the capacity to maintain consistent calmness of mind during your journey of yoga.

Prana Vashya is also designed to increase stamina in your key muscle groups by working them independently.  Working your muscles this way increases the muscle tone of individual muscle groups.  This, then, reduces the negative influence over the stabilising muscles which bear the strain most of the time.   Therefore you can quickly see improvement with regular practice.

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/

Is Lotus pose bad for your knees?

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Is Lotus pose bad for your knees? I get asked this question by students.  In short, Lotus pose or Padmasana is not bad for your knees, provided you do not force anything.   That being said, Lotus pose is an advanced yoga position and is not for beginners.   It is one of the finishing postures in the Prana Vashya Yoga Primary Series as it releases tension from the neck, shoulders and chest.

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The important thing about doing Lotus pose is not to force it.  Lotus pose is an “asana” (as opposed to a “yoga asana”) so it literally means ‘pose held in a position of comfort’ and is not meant to be an exercise; don’t force it!  On the one hand, if your hips are open enough, your heal will face your face when you cross your legs onto your thighs, and holding lotus is perfectly safe.  In fact, you can walk around on your knees in lotus (as pictured).  If, on the other hand, you are struggling to get your leg on your thigh in the first place, then this is a sure sign that you are NOT ready for lotus.  If you do force it, you run a real risk of permanently injuring your meniscus.

The meniscus

The knee joint is predominantly a hinge joint so if you look at it from the side you will notice that it flexes and extends.  Towards the side of the knee (at the top of the tibia) is your meniscus; it is like a shock absorber in the knee; without which you would not be able to withstand the impact of things like running.

Your meniscus is made from non-regenerative tissue; any damage to the same is therefore permanent and to be avoided at all costs!  Which just goes to show that there is no room for sayings like: “no pain; no gain” in yoga.  In fact, if your body hurts in any way when practicing yoga then STOP!  Something is not right.

How to get into the position

Sit on the floor with your legs extended in front of you; spine straight and arms by your sides. Then bend your right knee and take it towards your right side to open the hip before bringing your heal towards your chest and folding the foot on your left thigh in the crease of your left hip (so your heal faces your own face).

Then, bend your left knee. Cross your left ankle over the top of your right shin (again, so your heal faces your own face) and the top of your foot and ankle rests on your hip crease.

As a variation to the full posture, try sitting cross-legged a.k.a.: “Easy Pose” and work your way up to Half Lotus, that is just one leg folded on the thigh, to reduce pressure in the knee.  When you can comfortably bring your heal to the center – so it faces your own face – then, and only then, will you be ready for full posture.

Benefits

Ancient sages of India claim this position awakens Kundalini, the divine cosmic energy that can awaken the inner-Self.

Contraindications and Cautions

Avoid this posture if you have any ankle or knee injury.

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/