Lotus Position

The lotus-position is also known as padmasana and is a cross-legged pose that has origins in the meditative practices of ancient India.

It is an ancient asana that is often used for meditation, so is often seen in other traditions including Hindu, Tantra and Jain.

Variations of the pose include the half-lotus and bound lotus. The naming of the lotus-position within yoga derives from the lotus flower which is native to Asia and Australia.

The lotus flower is viewed as a symbol of purity within many cultures and fits in with the practice of yoga perfectly.

The purpose of the lotus position is top open the hips and stretch the knees and is often used by those that may not have much flexibility in the lower part of their body.

As well as having the potential to ease menstruation, the lotus position can also help deal with childbirth, as the practice can help stretch the pelvic floor as well as stretch the opening of the vagina.

Although the lotus position could be difficult for some to perform, allowing your body to bloom ensures that adopting the position in the future becomes much easier.

SHAVASANA

Although the Shavasana can be used in many ways by different cultures, in the practising of yoga it is usually used as a form of relaxation at the end of a yoga session.

Although the position merely lying ‘on the floor, there are those that can struggle with the pose, simply because of the relaxation aspect.

The Shavasana is also referred to as the “corpse pose” and while this can seem a little sinister, it refers to the deep state relaxation that people enter when carrying out the pose correctly.

The object of the Shavasana position is to scan the body for tensions, where is why it’s so important that the position is carried out in a fully relaxed state, otherwise, those carrying out the pose are unlikely to feel the benefit.

If there is any discomfort when performing the Shavasana then it’s important to adjust the pose accordingly to ensure there is no distraction when looking for the relaxed state of mind the pose requires.

The Shavasana allows the body to rejuvenate the body mind and spirit and helps eliminate the stress of the day.

HANDSTAND

Many will already know a handstand is when the body is poised in a stable vertical position.

This is carried out by the person balancing on their hands, which are place shoulder-length apart.

In the practising of yoga, the handstand can also be referred to as Adho Mukha Vrksasan, which translates downward facing.

As well as being a fabulous way of developing core stress, the handstand pose is also a great way of obtaining a burst of energy.

Carrying out the handstand pose also allows for decreased instances of worry and depression.

The pose can be difficult to perform unless the arms are able to support the body. However, a slow approach allows those who are practising yoga to perfect their approach over time and start to enjoy the benefits that the handstand pose can offer.

Some of the muscles activated when performing the handstand pose include but are not limited to the following.

  • Rectus Abdominis
  • Psoas Major
  • Spinal Extensors
  • Carpi Radialis
  • Dorsi
  • Deltoids

These all contribute to a strengthened core as the position strengthens hip flexors, inner-thigh and spinal muscles.

ADHO MUKHA SVANASANA

The Adho Mukha Svanasana has been cited as one of the most recognisable positions in the world and delivered an all-over stretch that allows the person carrying out the pose to feel more rejuvenated.

Some may recognise the Adho Mukha Svanasana pose under another name, the downward-facing dog.

The way the pose is carried out can vary depending on the yoga class you’re attending, but all interpretations deliver the same benefits.

To carry out the position, the person starts on the floor on all fours and then uses their arms and legs to push the body upwards.

The pose helps rejuvenate the body and allows the person to feel more energised and is normally carried out between one to three minutes.

The Adho Mukha Svanasana also helps strengthen the chest muscles as well as increase lung capacity.

Those that carry out the Adho Mukha Svanasana on a regular basis also find that they’re able to enjoy a calmer state-of-mind as well as help with insomnia and fatigue.

Although an easy pose to carry out for those that have been practising yoga for some time, those new to yoga may struggle at first.

Just like any other position, it’s important that those carrying out have carried out easier positions prior to ensure that they’re getting the full benefit of Adho Mukha Svanasana.

BALSANA

The balasana is also referred to as the child’s pose and is a pose that can be used in between the more challenging poses.

The balasana pose is achieved by kneeling on the floor, and then sitting on the heels. Those carrying out the pose then need to exhale an lay their torso between their thighs, before narrowing the hop points toward the navel.

The benefits of the pose including calming the mind and reducing fatigue, as well as being able to gently stretch the hips, ankles and thighs.

Those looking for some help when practising the balasana pose can employ the help of a partner.

Simply have a partner stand by your left or right, and then have them place one of their hands on your sacrum and the other hand on your midback.

Your partner then has to press down gently as you exhale. While you can ask for them to apply more or less pressure, it’s important that the manoeuvre is only carried on when exhaling.

There are times when the balasana pose is avoided. Women who are pregnant and those with knee ailment shouldn’t carry out the pose, and the same applies to those who may be suffering from diarrhoea.