Supine Yoga Positions
September 30, 2009
What are Supine Yoga Positions?
Yoga poses or asanas can be of many types. Some are standing poses, while some are sitting, inverted, balancing or supine poses.
Supine poses are the ones which are performed while lying on the back, facing upwards. These are usually done at the end of a yoga practice session, since they help to relax the body and release stress. Many of them also help to stretch the body to its maximum and thus increase flexibility and strength of those regions.
Supine yoga positions include supine stretches, supine inversions, supine backbends and supine twists.
- Single or Double Leg Raises. These yoga poses are done in the beginning of a yoga session in order to get the body warmed up in readiness for other asanas. In single leg raises, one leg is raised, while the other remains on the floor. In double leg raises, both legs are raised off the floor. In both, the back rests on the floor, and the shoulders and neck are completely relaxed.
- Some like the Belly Twist Pose (Jathara Parivartanasana), Bridge Building Pose (Setubandhanasana), Fish Pose (Matsyasana), Half Wind Relieving Pose (Ardh Pavana Muktasana) and Joyful Baby Pose (Ananda Balasana) are basic poses which can be performed by beginners.
- Some like the Half Supine Hero Pose (Ardha Supta Virasana), Half Shoulder Pose (Ardh Sarvangasana), Supine Hand to Toe Pose (Supta Padangushthasana), Supine Bound Angle Pose (Supta Baddha Konasana) and Supine Pigeon Pose (Supta Kaptasana) are done in the beginning of a yoga session and also help the body to warm up.
- Some of the supine yoga poses like the Extended Supine Hand to Toe Pose (Utthita Supta Padangusthasana), One Leg Bridge Pose (Eka Pada Setu Bandhasana), Knee Down Twist Pose (Supta Matsyendrasana), Plough Pose (Halasana), Upward Bow Pose (Urdhva Dhanurasana), Wind Relieving Pose (Pavanamuktasana) or the Supine Hero Pose (Supta Virasana) are done as intermediate poses between other poses.
- In some supine poses like Legs-Up-The-Wall Pose (Viparita Karani), your upper body rests on the floor, while legs rest comfortably on a wall, and your hands support your pelvis and lower back.
- The Corpse Pose (Shavasana) is done at the end of many difficult yoga poses and also at the end of a yoga session.
- Some of the supine yoga poses help to stretch ligaments, nerves and muscles, and strengthen the abdomen, hips and thighs.
- Some of these poses help to make the hips and spine more flexible.
- Many of them improve digestion, respiration and circulation of the blood.
- A few also help to improve memory and concentration.
Contraindications: Pregnant women should be careful or avoid many of these poses. Those with any eye problems like glaucoma, detached retina or weak eyes should also avoid these poses.