Backbends for Suppleness, Strength and Rejuvenation of the Body

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Continuing with backbends, our expert, Navodita, tells us about Ushtra Asana and Bheka Asana. Backbends stimulate the proper functioning of the digestive system, help preserve the health of the spinal disks, and open the body to deep diaphragmatic breathing. It is, therefore, an important of any Hatha Yoga routine. People with drooping shoulders and a hunch back will benefit greatly by Ushtra Asana. The whole spine is stretched back and is toned. This pose can be tried conveniently even by people with a minor spinal injury. Bheka Asana benefits the  greatly as these are pressed against the floor. The knees become firmer and the pose relieves pain in the knee joints due to rheumatism and gout. It also gives relief when there is any internal derangement of the knee joints. The pressure of the hands on the feet creates a proper arch and so cures flat feet. It helps sprained ankles and strengthens them. The pose also relieves pain in the heels. Here’s more about these poses and pranayama, in the weekly column, exclusively for Different Truths.

Backbends are the best way to your body, give it suppleness and and start your day afresh. Moreover, they are invigorating, uplifting and -opening. Backbends stimulate the proper functioning of the digestive system, help preserve the health of the spinal disks, and open the body to deep diaphragmatic breathing. It is, therefore, an important of any Hatha Yoga routine.

Having done a few major ones, let us introduce you to some simple poses good for the spine:

Ushtra Asana

It is also called the Camel Pose. It is a very deep backward bend performed in a kneeling position. Here’s how to get into the pose:

Kneel on the floor, keeping the thighs and feet together, toes pointing back and resting on the floor. Rest the palms on the hips. Stretch the thighs, curve the spine back and extend the ribs. Exhale, place the right palm over the right heel and the left palm over the left heel. If possible, place the palms on the soles of the feet. Press the feet with the palms, throw the head back and push the spine towards the thighs, which should be kept perpendicular to the floor. Contract the buttocks and stretch the dorsal and the coccyx regions of the spine still further, keeping the neck stretched back. Remain in this position for about thirty seconds. Release the hands one by one and rest them on the hips. Then sit on the floor and relax.

People with drooping shoulders and a hunch back will benefit greatly by this asana. The whole spine is stretched back and is toned. This pose can be tried conveniently even by people with a minor spinal injury.

Bheka Asana

Bheka means a frog. The in this asana resembles that of a frog, hence the name. Lie full length on the floor on the stomach, face downwards. Stretch the arms back. Exhale, bend the knees and move the heels towards the hips. Hold the sole of the right foot with the right hand and the sole of the left foot with the left hand. Take two breaths, exhale, lift the head and trunk from the floor and look up. Now turn the hands so that the palms touch the upper part of the feet and the toes and fingers point to the head. Push the hands further down and bring the toes and heels closer to the ground. Keep the arms from the wrists to the elbows perpendicular. When the knees and ankles become flexible, the heels can be made to touch the floor. Remain in this pose for about thirty seconds.

The abdominal organs benefit greatly from this asana as these are pressed against the floor. The knees become firmer and the pose relieves pain in the knee joints due to rheumatism and gout. It also gives relief when there is any internal derangement of the knee joints. The pressure of the hands on the feet creates a proper arch and so cures flat feet. It helps sprained ankles and strengthens them. The pose also relieves pain in the heels. By the continued practice of this asana, heels become softer. Persons from calcaneal spurs benefit greatly from this asana as well as with Virasana, along with it.

These asanas can be followed by some good breathing or pranayama – Ujjayi pranayama could be a good starting point.

Sit in Vir Asana. Place your hands on the sides touching your stomach from the sides. Inhale deeply by taking out a nasal from the roof of your palate. Take about six to ten seconds to inhale. While exhaling, again take out the nasal from the roof of your palate and take about ten to twelve seconds to completely exhale. Repeat this five to six times. After a few cycles of breathing in this pose, relax. Then place your hands under your armpits. Keep your back straight. Inhale deeply, in the same manner in about ten seconds, taking out the nasal .

Exhale in about twelve seconds. Repeat seven cycles in this posture, then relax. Now place your hands behind your head, over the shoulders. Repeat the cycles of breathing, with the nasal sound while inhaling and exhaling. End this with five normal breaths.

Now close your eyes and meditate over some positive thoughts:

  • As long as the karma is there, the body and your mind, the glow sticks to it. Your soul sticks onto it. By feeling that you are a glow, you will see every cell of your body becomes alive. It is an uplifting experience. So when you sleep, do not be somebody, be the glow, the light.
  • Anybody or anything that you hate is going to bug you. If a rat hates a cat, it will be born as a cat. If a cat hates a dog, it will be born as a dog. It is best not to hate anything. Drop all your hates now. Throw out all your anger and hatred. This is a place to be in love and joy.
  • All the Upanishad and all the Enlightened Masters have declared that the joy of Self-uniting with the Self, with the Inner Being, is a hundred times more than any other joy. The joy of the Self-being with the Self is more than the joy of being in a . This is how we go, step-by- step to our Self.

©Navodita Pande

Photos from the internet.

#Yoga #Asana #HolisticHealth #Upanishad #UshtraAsana #BhekaAsana #VirAsana #UjjayiPranayama #DifferentTruths

Navodita Pande

Navodita Pande

Navodita Pande has been practicing yoga since she was 9 years old in Iyengar Yoga. In April 1995, she performed at the International Yoga Seminar. In January 2003, Navodita taught at Hare Rama 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. She currently teaches Yoga and Reiki to
people in Kanpur.
Navodita Pande
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