Advantages Of Balancing Asanas

By on May 6, 2015
balancing

BALANCING ASANAS

This series of asanas develops the practitioner’s sense of balance and help to improve coordination between different parts of the body, so that the practitioner is able to move more efficiently and gracefully. Most people waste much energy by moving their limbs without synchronization with the rest of the body. The result is less work with more effort. These asanas develop the cerebellum, the brain centre that controls fine movements of the body.

To execute these asanas successfully, concentration is absolutely necessary to maintain equilibrium. Balancing poses help to improve the practitioner’s powers of concentration in other fields of activity. They also induce nervous balance and remove stress, anxiety and worries. If you feel particularly tense at any time, do one or more of these asanas for as long as possible.

Many beginners find balancing asanas reasonably difficult at first, as most people do not develop their sense of balance to a very high degree during normal life. However, the body is very adaptable and the beginner will find the sense of balance developing quickly after a few weeks regular practice.

When practising these postures it is most important that the mind is steadied through concentration on one point. Gazing at a black spot or a mark on the wall while practising the poses allows the body to maintain seemingly difficult positions for long periods of time.

EKA PADA PRANAMASANA
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Exercise-117: Eka pads pranamasana (The one leg prayer pose)

  • Stand erect with the feet together and arms at the sides.
  • Raise one foot and place the sole against the inside of the opposite upper thigh.
  • The heel is near the perineum, the palms together in front of the chest.

Duration-
Practice as long and as much as possible.

Concentration-
On a visible point.

Benefits-

  • Develops nervous equilibrium and balance.
  • Strengthens the leg, ankle and foot muscles.

 

GARUDASANA
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Exercise-118: Garudasana (The eagle pose)

  • Assume a standing position.
  • Raise the right leg and twist it around the left leg.
  • The right thigh should eventually lie in front of the left thigh and the right foot should rest on the calf of the left leg.
  • Now fold the arms and twist the right arm around the left arm until the palms can be placed together to resemble an eagle’s beak.
  • Bend the left leg and lower the body until the right toe touches the floor.
  • Practice for as long as possible without strain.

Concentration-
On a visible point and on balance.
Benefits-

  • Strengthens the muscles, tones the nerves and loosens the joints of the legs.
  • Helps to relieve sciatica and rheumatism in the legs and arms.
  • Eliminates hydrocele and develops balance.

BAKASANA
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Exercise-119: Bakasana (The crane pose)

  • Stand erect with the feet together and arms raised above the head.
  • Bend the body at the waist and grasp the left toes with both hands.
  • Raise the right leg behind as high as possible.
  • Do not bend either knee.
  • Hold this position as long as comfortable.
  • Lower the leg and return to the erect position.

Breathing-

  • Inhale while raising the arms.
  • Exhale while bending the trunk.
  • Breathe normally in the final pose.
  • Inhale while returning to the erect position.

Duration
Practice once on each leg for as long as possible.
Concentration-
On maintaining balance.
Benefits-

  • This asana improves blood circulation to the brain.
  • Strengthens the arms, wrists and leg muscles.
  • Relaxes the lower back and helps in the development of nervous co-ordination.

EKA PADASANA

ET

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Exercise-120: Eka padasana (The one foot pose)

  • Stand erect with the feet together.
  • Raise the arms directly above the head and interlock the fingers.
  • Slowly lean forward, keeping the trunk and head in line with the straightened arms.
  • Simultaneously raise the left leg backward, keeping it straight and in line with the trunk.
  • The body should rotate from the right hip joint.
  • The final pose is attained when the left leg, the trunk, the head and the arms are all in one straight horizontal line, the right leg straight and vertical.
  • Remain in the final pose for as long as possible and then slowly return to the starting position.
  • Repeat the movement, raising the right leg backward.

Breathing-

  • Inhale while raising the arms.
  • Exhale while bending to assume the final pose.
  • Breathe normally in the final pose.
  • Inhale while returning to the starting position.

 

 

All other details as given for bakasana.
ARDHA PADMA PADOTTANASANA
HI

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Exercise-121: Ardha padma padottanasana (The half lotus leg stretch pose)

  • Sit with the legs stretched forward.
  • Place the left foot on top of the right thigh.
  • Bend the right leg and place its foot flat on the ground.
  • Clasp the hands under the right thigh.
  • Fix the gaze on a visible point.
  • Straighten the right leg and balance on the back of the buttocks.
  • Bend the right knee and lower the foot to the ground.
  • Repeat the same process with the right foot on the left thigh.
  • Practice a maximum of 5 times with each leg.

Breathing-

  • Inhale while seated.
  • Retain while balancing.
  • Exhale when firmly seated again.

Concentration-
On maintaining balance by gazing at a fixed point.
Benefits-
This asana prepares the legs for the lotus pose and aids the development of nervous balance.

 

ARDHA BADDHA PADOTTANASANA
KO

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Exercise-122: Ardha baddha padmottanasana (the half lotus leg stretch pose)

  • Stand erect.
  • While balancing on the left leg, bend the right leg at the knee and place the right foot as high as possible on the left thigh.
  • Raise both arms above the head clasping the fingers.
  • Relax and steady the whole body.
  • Slowly bend forward and touch the left foot with the fingers.
  • Keep the left leg straight.
  • If possible touch the left knee with the forehead.
  • Stay in the final pose for as long as comfortable. Slowly return to the erect position.
  • Unfold the right leg and relax.
  • Repeat the same procedure with the left leg folded on the right thigh.

Breathing-

  • Exhale while bending forward.
  • Breathe normally in the final pose.
  • Inhale as you return to the starting pose.

Duration-
Maintain for up to 2 minutes on each leg.
Concentration-
On maintaining balance or on the breath.
Limitations-
Not recommended for people with sciatica or slipped disc.
Benefits-

  • Stimulates digestion and removes constipation.
  • Develops the sense of balance and improves the power of concentration.
  • Loosens and strengthens the legs.

 

 

SANTULANA PARVATASANA
HU

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Exercise-123: Santulana parvatasana (The balancing mountain pose)

  • Sit in padmasana.
  • Gaze at a fixed point.
  • Using the hands for support, slowly rise on to the knees. Straighten the hips and trunk.
  • Slowly raise both hands straight over the head, one at a time.

Breathing-
Practice with normal, unrestrained breathing.
Duration
Practice for as long as possible.
Concentration-
This is a reasonably difficult balancing pose and so the concentration should only be directed towards maintaining balance.
Benefits-
This asana helps in the development of nervous balance.

 

 

MEHRUDANASANA
DJ

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Exercise-124: Merudandasana (The spinal column pose)

  • Assume a sitting position.
  • Bend the legs at the knees and place the soles on the floor in front of the hips.
  • The feet should be about half a meter apart.
  • Hold the big toes and relax the body.
  • Slowly lean the trunk backward and straighten the legs.
  • The arms and legs should be straight and separated as much as possible.

Breathing-

Inhale while seated.
Retain the breath inside while stretching the legs.
Exhale after finishing.

Duration-

For as long as you can comfortably retain the breath.
Do not strain.

Concentration-
On maintaining balance by gazing at a fixed point.
Limitations-
Not recommended for patients of slipped disc or sciatica.
Benefits-

  • Activates the abdominal organs, especially the liver and strengthens the abdominal muscles.
  • Helps to remove intestinal worms, stimulates intestinal peristalsis and tones the entire visceral region.
  • Tones the spinal nerves and strengthens the spinal muscles.
    Develops balance and concentration.

 

MERUDANDASANA VARIATIONS
Variation-1 : Utthita hasta merudandasana(The raised limbs and spine pose)

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  • This is very similar to merudandasana.
  • Instead of separating the feet in the final pose, bring them together, keeping the arms and legs straight.

Variation-2 : Ashwa Sanchalanasana (The rocking horse pose)

  • Sit erect with the legs together and the knees near the chest.
    Bend the arms so that the fists can be placed on the outside of the knees.
  • Recline the back while simultaneously stretching the arms and legs.
    Try to straighten both, the arms and legs, keeping the fists above the knees.
  • The whole body should be balanced on the hips.
  • Try to raise the legs as much as possible, keeping them straight.
  • Maintain the final pose for a short time and then return to the starting position.
  • Rest and repeat.

Important Points-
Beginners should perfect this asana before attempting to practice merudandasana or utthita hasta merudandasana.

 

All other details as for merudandasana.
VASHISHTHASANA
EE

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Exercise-125: Vashishthasana (the straight arm stretch pose)

  • Lie on the left side with the right leg above the left leg.
  • Place the right hand on the right thigh and the left palm on the ground under the left shoulder.
  • The fingers must point away from the feet.
  • Straighten the left elbow and raise the upper torso.
  • Raise the hip until the entire body is straight and on a 30 degree incline supported by the left arm and foot.
  • Bend the right knee and grasp the big toe with the right hand.
  • Raise the foot and stretch the leg.
  • Release the toe.
  • Lower the leg and then the body.
  • Practice a maximum of 5 times on each side.

Breathing-

  • Practice this asana with the breath retained inside.
  • Normal unrestrained breathing may be practiced once the foot is securely raised.

Concentration
On maintaining balance and on relaxing the leg muscles.
Benefits-

  • This asana improves nervous balance and removes anxiety.
  • It makes the leg muscles supple and strengthens the arms.

 

VATAYANASANA
PL

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Exercise-126: Vatayanasana (The galloping horse pose)

  • Stand erect.
  • Gaze at a fixed point.
  • Bend the left knee and place the left foot on the right thigh, in the half lotus manner.
  • Place the palms together in front of the chest in a prayer gesture.
  • Bend the right leg and slowly lower the body as far as possible.
  • Rest the left knee on the ground.
  • Slowly return to the erect position.
  • After some rest, repeat the movement.

Variation-
Practice with the arms stretched downward at a 45 degree angle.
Breathing-

  • Inhale while standing on one foot.
  • Retain while lowering and rising.
  • Exhale when erect.
  • Breathe normally in the final pose.

Duration
Practice a maximum of 10 times on each leg.
Concentration-
On maintaining balance by gazing at a fixed point.
Benefits-

  • This asana strengthens the leg muscles and relaxes the knee joints.
  • It is excellent for atrophied muscles and gout in the knees.
  • It develops the ability to retain seminal fluid by strengthening the prostate and spermatic muscles and nerves.
  • It reduces hyperacidity of the kidneys, together with over-frequent urination.

 

NATAVARA ASANA
NV

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Exercise-127: Natavara asana (Lord Krishna’s pose)

  • Stand erect.
  • Place the right foot to the left of the left leg with the toes slightly above the ground and the sole almost vertical.
  • Rest the right calf against the left shin.
  • Raise both hands as if playing a flute.

Duration-
Practice for as long as possible on each leg.
Benefits-
Controls the nerves, aids in developing concentration and is a good preparatory pose for meditation.

 

NATARAJA ASANA
VVZ

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Exercise-128: Nataraja asana (Lord Shiva’s pose)

  • This is a preparatory position.
  • Stand erect.
  • Bend the right leg backwards and raise the foot as high as possible.
  • Grasp the right ankle with the right hand.
  • Reach upward and forward with the left arm.
  • Perform gyana mudra with the left fingers and gaze at the horizon.

Duration-
Practice for as long as possible on each leg.
Benefits-
Balances the nervous system, aids in bodily control and mental concentration and makes the legs supple.

 

NATARAJA ASANA VARIATIONS
Variation-1: (Lord Shiva’s pose) full form
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  • This is exactly the same as the preparatory form except that the big toe of the backward-facing foot is held instead of the ankle.
  • The elbow of the arm that faces backward should point up.
  • This position of the hand and arm will allow the foot to be raised nearer to the back of the head.
  • Advanced practitioners with flexible bodies may be able to touch the back of the head with the toes or hold the toes with both hands.

Important point
This form of nataraja asana should be practiced only after the preparatory form has been perfected.

 

Variation-2: (Lord Shiva’s dance)
NAT

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Stand erect.
  • Raise the left foot so that the thigh is horizontal and the foot points away from the body and is slightly to the right of right leg.
  • Hold the left arm in line with the left leg so that is points downward and outward.
  • Bend the right arm and point the elbow in the opposite direction to the left arm.
  • Hold the lower am vertical and chin or gyana mudra with the upper hand. Gaze toward the horizon.

 

 

All other details for the variations are as given for nataraja asana preparatory form.
UTTHITA HASTA PADANGUSTHASANA
UTT

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Exercise-129: Utthita hasta padangusthasana (The raised hand to big toe pose)

  • Stand erect with the feet together and the hands on the hips.
  • Relax the whole body.
  • Bend the right leg at the knee and raise the thigh as near as possible to the chest.
  • Grasp the big toe of the raised foot with the right hand fingers.
  • The right arm should be outside the bent leg.
  • Straighten the right leg and slowly pull it upward.
  • Maintain this pose for a comfortable length of time.
  • Release the toe and slowly lower the leg to the ground, keeping it straight.

Variation-1:

  • Repeat the basic form but hold the raised straight leg with both hands.
  • Clasp the fingers together and place them behind the heel.
  • Using the arms as le­vers, try to gently pull the leg as near as possible to the head.
  • Advanced practitioners may be able to touch their chin to the raised leg.

Variation-2:

  • Stand erect with the feet together.
  • Bend the right leg at the knee and raise the thigh as high as possible towards the chest.
  • Hold the big toe of the right foot with the right hand.
  • The arm should be on the inside of the right leg.
  • Slowly straighten the raised leg to the side.
  • Raise the left arm pointing it to the left and upward.
  • Then try to gently pull the straight raised leg higher and closer to the body.
  • Maintain the final pose for a comfortable length of time.
  • Then slowly lower the raised leg to the floor.

Breathing-

  • For all three forms, exhale while straightening the raised leg, and then inhale.
  • Exhale while pulling the leg higher and closer to the body.
  • Breathe deeply in the final pose.
  • Exhale while lowering the leg.

Duration-
The final pose of each form can be held for up to 60 seconds. Those people who are unable to maintain the pose can repeat 5 times, with each leg.
Concentration-
On a fixed point in front of the body.
Precautions-
Do not strain the leg muscles.
Benefits-

  • All forms improve concentration and co-ordinate muscular and nervous balance.
  • Strengthens and stretches the leg muscles.

 

SANTOLANASANA
SS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Exercise-130: Santolanasana (the balancing pose)

  • Assume the cat pose (marjariasana).
  • Raise the hips and straighten the knees to form the mountain pose (sumeru asana).
  • Move the shoulders forward and drop the hips until the body is straight and taut.
  • The arms should be vertical.

Additions-
Additition-1

  • Raise one arm and roll the body onto the side.
  • The upper hand will rest on the upper thigh.
  • Roll back to the basic pose and repeat this movement on the opposite side.

Addition-2
Raise one arm and place it behind the back.
Addition-3
Raise one leg and stretch it back and upward.
Breathing-

  • Practice the base pose with normal breathing.
  • Retain the breath inside when practicing the additions.

Duration-
Practice this asana for as long as possible.
Benefits-
This pose develops the nervous system.

 

HAMASANA
kkp

 

 

 

 

 

 

Exercise-131: Hamsasana (the swan pose)

  • Kneel on the floor with the feet together and the knees apart.
  • Place the palms of the hands flat on the ground between the knees with the fingers pointing towards the feet.
  • Bend the arms at the elbows so that the elbows point backwards and are together at the abdomen.
  • Simultaneously lean forward and rest the abdomen on the upper arms and elbows.
  • Keeping the feet together, stretch the legs backward until they are straight.
  • Raise the head upward.
  • In the final pose all the weight of the body should rest only on the tips of the toes and the hands.
  • Hold for as long as comfortable.

Concentration-
On the breath or abdomen.
Sequence-

  • This asana can be performed at any time of day but not after meals.
  • Not to be practiced by persons suffering from peptic or duodenal ulcers, acidity, hernia, high blood pressure or over-dilated blood vessels caused by antibiotics.

Benefits-

  • Strengthens the abdominal organs and muscles.
  • Helps to expel stomach or intestinal worms.
  • Stimulates the appetite, removes constipation and helps to eliminate amebic dysentery

About Sharat S.

To keep my friends and readers Healthy, I love to write and share articles on Fruits, Vegetables, Yoga Exercise and more. Importantly, I always promote natural remedies to keep your body healthy.

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