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.
March 10, 2009
Yoga asana is the physical form of yoga and the various postures that are part of yoga. These yoga postures stretch the entire body and help to tone up the muscles. You can practice yoga asanas for fitness, to calm your mind and relaxing your body, for losing those extra calories or for toning up. Ancient sages practiced yoga to prepare their minds for meditation. These days, people learn yoga asanas for fitness and relaxation.
There are a lot of varied yoga postures, each stretching and testing different muscles of the body. Yoga asanas can be grouped in a few slots.
Warm-up yoga asanas: Like any other exercise, you need to warm up before doing yoga. There are a group of yoga poses like the Sun Salutation or the Surya Namaskar that can be done to warm up the body.
Standing poses: There are some yoga postures that are done while standing up. These include the Tree pose, Warrior pose, Stand Spread Leg Forward Fold, Standing Side Stretch pose, Hands to Feet, and Triangle pose.
Seated poses: These asanas are done while sitting on a yoga mat. Seated poses include the Child pose, Seated Forward Bend, Hero pose and, Spread Leg Forward Fold.
Twist yoga poses: These yoga asanas are done by twisting the body. Good for strengthening the back, toning the abdominal area and improving digestion, Twist Yoga Poses include the Sage Twist and the Half-Spinal Twist.
Supine poses: These are done by lying on your back and facing up. Supine poses include Wind Reliving pose, Leg Raises, Leg Pulls, Locust pose, and Leg Reclining Lunge.
Inverted poses and Balance poses: These poses test the body balance. The Plough pose, Headstand and the Shoulder stand are good for enhancing the functioning of the glandular system, stimulating the brain and improving blood circulation.
Backbends: Great for improving the flexibility of the spine, the backbends are also god for strengthening the abdomen, legs and the arms.
Finishing poses: These are essentially cooling poses, which help the body to cool down after a yoga practice session. The Corpse pose or the Shavasana is a finishing pose.
Some of the other major yoga postures include the Warrior I and II, Triangle pose, Easy pose, Mountain pose, Head to knee pose, Half Shoulder stand, Forward Bend, Downward Dog pose, Cobra pose and the Bridge pose.
Whenever you begin doing yoga and learning yoga asanas, you should take it slowly and be kind to your body. You must also learn yoga from an expert for the maximum benefit of the asanas.