Asanas for Restorative Effect on Body, Mind and Soul

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Navodita, our Yoga expert, tells us about its restorative effect on the body, mind and soul. Supta Padangushtha Asana is good for the stretch of the hips, thighs, hamstrings, groins and calves. It strengthens the knees, stimulates the prostate glands. It improves digestion and relieves backache, sciatica and menstrual discomfort. This is for high blood pressure, flat feet and infertility. helps relieve tired legs and assists in digestion. It relieves menstrual discomfort and strengthens the arches of the feet. It helps cure arthritis, asthma, diarrhea, digestive problems, high blood pressure, infertility, insomnia and varicose veins. Jatara Parivartan Variations I & II are called the King of asanas. It stretches the back muscles, realigns and lengthens the spine, and energises the spinal discs. The asana good for relaxing during the menstrual cycle is Viparitkarni. It relaxes the abdominal and pelvic regions and improves blood supply to these areas. It is beneficial for low blood pressure. Learn more about it, in the weekly column, exclusively for Different Truths.

Supine poses are great for your back and offer restorative effect on the body, mind and soul. Its direct effect may be felt in the lower back, spine, shoulders and joints, which works wonders also for the core. Here are some more such poses which can help you relieve your stress and mental fatigue:

Supta Padangushtha Asana

Lie down straight on your back. Raise the right leg first straight up and hold and entwine your thumb around the right toe. Left leg is on the floor and straight with your left leg placed on your left thigh. Breathe normally for twenty seconds in this pose.

This pose may also be done by supporting the back of your right leg by holding the back of the knee and lending it some with the hands interlocked behind the knee.

Another way of getting full effect of the asana is by taking a belt or a string and holding it around the raised foot. Stretch against the string and pull the string towards yourself. Keep the right leg stretched and feel the stretch at the back of the leg.

Repeat this with the left leg raised and breathe normally in this pose.

This asana is good for the stretch of the hips, thighs, hamstrings, groins and calves. It strengthens the knees. It stimulates the prostate glands. It improves digestion and relieves backache, sciatica and menstrual discomfort. This is therapeutic for high blood pressure, flat feet and infertility.

Yet another asana which is good for a good back stretch is Supta Vir Asana.

Supta Vir Asana

In this asana you have to first sit in Vir Asana. Then exhale and lie back and let the back arch a bit. Another way of doing this pose is to stack up a few bolsters or cushions right behind your back and then lie back on the floor. Cross your elbows over the shoulders and stay there for about twenty seconds.

It gives a good stretch to your thighs, knees, ankles, abdomen and hips. It helps relieve tired legs and assists in digestion. It relieves menstrual discomfort and strengthens the arches of the feet. It helps cure arthritis, asthma, diarrhea, digestive problems, high blood pressure, infertility, insomnia and varicose veins.

One other good asana for digestive system and obesity is another variation of Jatara Parivartana.

Jatara Parivartan Variation I

This is also called King Asana by a few yoga experts. Here you have to lie down and bend your knees. Turn to the right hand side without turning the chest and shoulders. Bend to the right such that left knee the right heel. Bend both your legs to the right and then to the left. On the left hand side your right knee should touch the left heel. Repeat this cycle for about five minutes.

Jatara Parivartan Variation II

This asana is also known as the Queen Asana. Here you have to lie on your back and bend your knees. Hold your knees up till your . Keeping the bend turn to the right. As you turn your legs to the right, turn your head to the left. Let your arms be stretched to the sides. Keep both the knees together while turning. Repeat this on the left hand side. Turn to the left and right for about five minutes.

This belly twist stretches the back muscles, realigns and lengthens the spine, and energises the spinal discs.

Yet another asana good for relaxing during the menstrual cycle is Viparitkarni.

Viparitakarani

This restorative pose does wonders for anyone would like to destress and relax. Here one can put up the legs against the wall. Start by lying on the back. The arms are straight beside the body. Inhaling bend the knees and raise the legs and buttocks. Bring the hands under the buttocks to support the back. Elbows remain on the floor. Straighten the legs vertically upwards. Relax the muscles of the feet, legs and hips. Breathing normally, remain in this position as long as you are comfortable. Exhale, bend the knees towards the forehead, slowly lower the buttocks and legs and return to the starting position.

This invigorates the whole body and regulates glandular activity thereby reducing states of stress and depression. Lymphatic and venous return is increased which is beneficial for swollen legs and diseases of the veins. This relaxes the abdominal and pelvic regions and improves blood supply to these areas. It is beneficial for low blood pressure.

After such a relaxing workout of Yoga what can wonders is some food for thought from Ashtavakra Gita:

  • Janaka says that one should drop the illusion. One has to dissolve in the Divinity; in the Infinity; in the past.
  • Ashtavakra said there is nothing to be given, nothing to be surrendered, and nothing to be dropped. The sense of giving up comes when you have the sense of ownership, of possession which should not be there in the first place.
  • A sense of doer-ship comes to you as a big weight or cloud. Any time you feel a big weight or cloud know you have come into the sense of doer-ship. Just sit back and relax.

You will see it vanishes. This very knowledge, ‘I’m not the doer’, lets you relax.

©Navodita Pande

Photo from the internet.

Navodita Pande

Navodita Pande

Navodita Pande has been practicing yoga since was 9 years old in Iyengar Yoga. In April 1995, performed at the International Yoga Seminar. In January 2003, Navodita taught at Hare Hare Krishna Mandir in New York. Navodita had a Yoga show on NDTV 24x7 and was also the official yoga trainer for Miss Delhi contestants in 2007. currently teaches Yoga and Reiki to
people in Kanpur.
Navodita Pande
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