Meditative Postures are good for our mind

By on May 3, 2015
Maditative posture

Meditative Postures

An individual has to sit in meditation for longer periods of time and as such the position has to be not only comfortable for retention but also provide benefit to the whole body. The essential aspect is to keep the spinal cord straight. In higher stages of meditation the practitioner is likely to lose control over the muscles of the body and the posture has to provide that inherent stability.

A beginner could start with sukhasana and slowly prepare the body for classical asanas like padmasana and siddhasana. By staying steady in an asana the practitioner can acquire one-pointed mind concentration level and feel infinite bliss. The ability of the body to sit in one position is dependant on 2 factors- the flexibility of the body and the state of mind. Thus physical and mental preparations are both essential for practicing these asanas.

 

BEGINNERS MEDITATIVE ASANAS

Beginners Meditative Asanas The simplified meditative asanas are:

  • Sukhasana.
  • Ardh Padmasana.

Classical Meditative Asanas These are the standard asanas for meditation:

  • Padmasana.
  • Sidhasana (For men)
  • Sidha Yoni Asana (for women)
  • Swastikasana.

Subsidiary Meditative Asanas

  • Vajrasana.
  • Ananda Madirasana.
  • Padadirasana.

PRECAUTIONS To relieve pain- severe or mild- in the legs experienced after sitting in one posture for sometime, slowly unlock the legs and massage them. Again resume the position. Do not use undue force or strain to sit in the asana.

 

SUKHASANA (THE EASY POSE)

SUKHASANA

 

Exercise-44: Sukhasana (the easy pose)

  • Sit with the legs stretched in front of the body.
  • Fold right foot under the left thigh.
  • Fold left foot under the right thigh.
  • Place hands on the knees.
  • Keep head, neck and back straight.
  • Tie a cloth piece around the back and knees to practice this asana for longer periods of time.

Stop practicing this asana once any of the classical meditative asanas have been effectively performed for sufficient duration.

 

ARDHA PADAMASANA (THE HALF LOTUS POSTURE)

ARDHA PADAMASANA

 

Exercise-45: Ardha padamasana (the half lotus pose)

  • Sit with feet stretched in front of the body.
  • Fold left leg and place left foot beside the right thigh.
  • Fold right leg and place right foot on top of the left thigh.
  • Keep back, neck and head straight.

Limitation
Persons suffering from sciatica or sacral infections should avoid practicing this asana.
Benefits-
Same as for padamasana but at a reduced level.
This asana should be preferred to sukhasana since alternative placing of each foot in the elevated position will help prepare for padamasana and other classical meditative postures.

 

CLASSICAL MEDITATIVE ASANAS

                   PADAMASANA

PADAMASANA

 

Exercise-46: Padamasana

  • Sit with the legs extended forward.
  • Fold one leg and place its foot on top of the opposite thigh.
  • The sole of the foot should be upward with heel touching the pelvic bone.
  • Fold the other leg also and place its foot on top of the other thigh in a similar fashion.
  • Hold the spine steady and completely upright.
  • To be more comfortable, place a low cushion under the buttocks before assuming the asana.

 Precautions
Before attempting this asana, develop suppleness in the legs through practice of premeditative exercises.
Limitation
Persons suffering from sciatica or sacral infections should avoid practicing this asana.
Benefits

  • When mastered, practitioner can hold body steady in this posture for long and attain steadiness of mind.
  • Flow of prana or energy is regularized by this asana.
  • The coccygeal and sacral nerves are toned with an extra flow of blood since extra blood flow is directed to the abdominal region instead of the legs.
  • Padmasana also helps in clearing many physical, emotional and nervous problems.
  • It stimulates the digestive process.

 

SIDHASANA (FOR MEN ONLY)

SIDHASANA

 

Exercise-47: Sidhasana (For men only)

  • Sit with the legs extended forward.
  • Fold the right leg and place the sole of its foot against the left thigh.
  • The heel should be pressing the perineum- the area between the genitals and the anus.
  • Fold the right leg and place its foot on top of the right calf.
  • Press the pelvic bone with the left heel directly above the genitals.
  • Push the toes and the outer edge of the left foot into the space between the right calf and thigh muscles- adjust the position of the right leg accordingly.
  • Grasp the right toes from above or below the left calf and pull them upwards in to the space between the left thigh and calf.
  • Lock the legs with the knees on the ground and the left heel directly above the right heel.
  • Hold spine steady, straight and erect.
  • Place a cushion below the buttocks for ease and comfort.
  • This asana can be performed with either leg upward.

Limitation-
Persons suffering from sciatica or sacral infections should avoid practicing this asana. Only men can practice this asana.

Benefits

  • When mastered, practitioner can hold body steady in this posture for long and attain steadiness of mind.
  • Flow of prana or energy is regularized by this asana.
  • The two sexually related psycho-muscular locks which redirect sexual nerve impulses to the brain are activated.
  • It helps in gaining greater control over the sensory sexual function.
  • It has a calming effect on the entire nervous system.

 

SIDHA YONI ASANA (FOR WOMEN ONLY)

SIDHA YONI ASANA

 

Exercise-48: Sidha Yoni asana (for women only)

  • Sit with the legs extended forward.
  • Fold the right leg and place the sole of its foot against the inner left thigh.
  • Place the heel inside the labia major of the vagina.
  • Fold the right leg and place its foot on top of the right calf and thigh.
  • Pull up the right toes in to the space between the calf and thigh.
  • Hold spine fully erect and straight.
  • Place a cushion below the buttocks for ease and comfort.
  • This asana can be performed with either leg upward and best performed without underwear.

Limitation-
Women suffering from sciatica or sacral infections should avoid practicing this asana. Only women can practice this asana.
Benefits

  • When mastered, practitioner can hold body steady in this posture for long and attain steadiness of mind.
  • Flow of prana or energy is regularized by this asana.
  • The nerve plexuses which control the female reproductive system are energized.
  • It helps in gaining greater control over the neuron-psychic sensory impulses to provide sexual enjoyment.

It has a calming effect on the entire nervous system.

 

SWASTIKASANA

Exercise-49: Swastikasana

  • Assume the base position- fold the left leg and place the foot near the right thigh muscles.
  • Fold the right leg and push it in the space between the left thigh and calf muscles.
  • The toes of both feet should lie between the thighs and calves of the two legs.
  • The hands can be placed on the knees or in the lap.

Limitation-
People suffering from sciatica or sacral infections should avoid practicing this asana.
Benefits

Same as sidhasana and sidha yoni asana but at a lower level since perineum is not automatically pressed.
It is the easiest classical meditative posture.

 

SUBSIDIARY MEDITATIVE ASANAS

                       VAJRASANA

VAJRASANA

 

Exercise-50: Vajrasana

  • Stand on the knees with feet stretched backward and big toes crossed.
  • Hold knees together and heels apart.
  • Lower the buttocks on to the insides of the feet with heels at the sides of the hips.
  • Place the hands on the knees with palms facing upwards.

Duration-
Practice for at least 5 minutes after meals and longer periods as possible.
Concentration-
Concentrate on the normal breathing process with eyes closed.
Benefits-

  1. Vajrasana alters the flow of blood and nervous impulses in the pelvic and visceral regions.
  2. Improves digestion and relieves indigestion.
  3. Reduces the flow of blood to the genitals and massages the nerve fibers of the region.
  4. Useful for men with dilated testicles.
  5. Strengthens pelvic muscles and prevents hernia and helps women in childbirth.
  6. Useful in relieving stomach ailments such as peptic ulcer or hyperacidity.

Only meditative pose for people suffering from sciatica and sacral infections.
It is the prayer posture for Muslims and Japanese Buddhists.

 

ANANDA MADIRASANA

ANANDA MADIRASANA

 

Exercise-51: Ananda madirasana

  • Sit in vajrasana.
  • Place hands on the heels with palms facing downwards.
  • Keep the trunk erect and concentrate your gaze on the
  • space between the eyes.

Breath- Take slow and deep Breaths.
Duration– Practice for extended periods provides spiritual benefits.
Concentration– On breathing process.
Benefits– Relaxes the nervous system and calms the mind.

 

PADADIRASANA

PADADIRASANA

 

Exercise-52: Padadirasana

  • Sit in vajarasana.
  • Cross arms in front of the chest placing your hands under the armpits with thumbs pointing upwards in front.
  • Close your eyes and concentrate on the breathing process.

Breath- Slow and rhythmic.
Duration- Practice for extended periods provides spiritual benefits. To prepare for pranayama practice for 10 to 15 minutes.
Concentration– On breathing process.
Benefits- Helps in preparing for pranayama and placing hands under the armpits tends to equalize the breath flow through each nostril.

 

SHASHANKASANA

SHASHANKASANA

 

Exercise-53: shashankasana

  • Sit in vajarasana.
    Place your hands on the knees.
  • Inhale and raise your arms in a vertical position above your head.
  • Exhale while bending your trunk forward keeping your arms in line with the trunk.
  • Rest your hands and forehead on the floor in front of the body.
  • Retain your breath for a short time in the final position.
  • While inhaling return to the starting position when trunk and arms are vertical.
  • Repeat 10 times.

Normal or slow deep breathing may be practiced in prostrate position to prolong the asana.
Concentration- On breathing.

SHASHANKASANA2

 

Benefits-

  • Tones the pelvic muscles, relaxes the sciatic neves andcregulates the functioning of the adrenal glands relieving sciatica, constipation and anger.
  • Benefits women with underdeveloped pelvis.
  • Removes sexual disorders in general.

Shashankasana- variation-1
Hold the right wrist with the left hand behind the back and perform the asana as above.
Shashankasana- variation-2
Hold the fists in the lower portion of the abdomen and perform the asana.

 

MARJARIASANA

MARJARIASANA

 

Exercise-54: Marjariasana

  • Sit in vajrasana.
    Place both hands flat on the floor in front beneath the shoulders.
  • Raise the buttocks and stand on the knees.
  • Inhale, depress the spine and raise the head.
  • Exhale, lower the head and arch the spine.
  • Again depress the spine and raise the head.
  • Keep the arms straight and vertical.

Benefits-

  • Improves flexibility of the neck, shoulders and spine.
  • It tones the reproductive system and benefits pregnant women.
  • Women suffering from menstrual irregularities and leucorrhea get better.
  • Relieves cramps experienced by some women during menstruation.

To be practiced by pregnant women only up to up to 3 month’s pregnancy. Benefits of the asana are greatly enhanced if stomach is contracted during exhalation.

 

SHASHANK BHUJHANGASANA

SHASHANK BHUJHANGASANA

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Exercise-55: Shashank bhujhangasana

  • Assume marijariasana posture.
  • Place hands about 18 inches apart and draw hips backward in to shashankasana posture.
  • Without displacing the hands, move your chest forward sliding it just above the ground to bring it line with the hands.
  • Move the chest further forward and then upward as you straighten the arms and lower the abdomen to the ground.
  • In this position the back should be arched and head bent backward as in bhujhangasana.
  • Slowly resume the shashankasana posture- return to marjariasana.
  • Resume shashankasana and then come forward in to bhujhangasana.
  • Repeat 10 times.

Breathing- Breathe normally in marjariasana- inhale while moving the body forward To assume bhujhangasana. Exhale while assuming shashankasana.

 

PRANAMASANA

PRANAMASANA

 

Exercise-56: Pranamasana

  • Sit in vajrasana with spine erect and hands on the knees.
  • Grasp the lower calves from underneath.
  • Bend forward and place the crown of the head on the floor.
  • Raise hips to bring thighs in vertical position.
  • Return to vajrasana.
  • Repeat 10 times.

Breath- Inhale in vajrasana and while rising. Exhale while bending forward. Practice normal breathing in the pranam position.
Sequence- not to be practiced at the beginning of an asana series.
Limitation- Not to be performed by patients of vertigo or blood pressure.
Benefits-

  1. Prepares for shirshasana.
  2. Provides rich supply of blood to the head.
  3. Provides benefits of shirshasana to a lesser degree.

 

USHTRASANA

USHTRASANA

 

Exercise-57: Ushtrasana

  • Sit in vajrasana with knees apart and ankles at the sides of hips.
  • Inhale, rise onto the knees and stretch arms to the sides.
  • Exhale, twist the torso to the right, bend backward and grasp at the heel with the right hand.
  • Look at the left arm which should be raised vertically over the head with palm facing forward.
  • Allow the upper body weight to rest on the left heel.
  • Inhale, raise the torso and return to the centre kneeling position.

Duration- Practice 10 times on each side with up to 1 minute on either side as a static pose.
USHTRASANA VARIATION

  • Sit in vajrasana with knees and feet slightly apart.
  • Stand on your knees and stretch the arms to the sides.
  • Lean backwards and place the hands on the heels.
  • Stretch the neck backwards and shift body weight to the arms.
  • Arch as far back as possible.
  • Return to kneeling and back to vajrasana.

Breathing-

  • Inhale while assuming kneeling position.
  • Exhale while bending backward and while returning to vajrasana.

 

Duration-

  • Practice 10 times as a dynamic exercise.
  • Hold up to 3 minutes as a static pose.

Concentration– On the abdomen, thyroid gland or spine.
Benefits-

  • Beneficial for the digestive, excretory and reproductive systems.
  • Stretches the stomach and intestines and removes constipation.
  • Removes backache, lumbago and rounded back.

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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