Benefits of the Half Spinal Twist Pose (Ardha-Matsyendrasana):
The Ardha-matsyendrasana helps in cultivating flexibility and strength in the spine. Its a great “cool down” pose that also smoothes stiff necks and upper back and tension caused by stress, poor posture, or prolonged periods of sitting in one position.
The alternating compression and release of the abdominal region flushes this area with blood and give massage the internal organs. Muscles of the stomach and hips are also toned from repeated practice of this asana.
How to perform the Half Spinal Twist Pose (Ardha-Matsyendrasana):
- Sit comfortable in a cross-legged position.
- Straighten both legs out in front. While bending your right knee, bring the heel of the right foot close to the left hip.
- While breathing-in bend the left knee upward and place the left foot flat on the floor to the right of the right leg with ankle touching the right thigh.
- While turning the spine to the left straighten your right arm and bring it around to the left knee and grasp the left foot.
- Turn your head as far as possible to the left and bend the left arm behind your back. Keep your spine, neck and head aligned and continue to exert effort at turning to the left.
- Repeat the same posture to the other side.
Durations/Repetitions of the Half Spinal Twist Pose (Ardha-matsyendrasana)
This asana can be held for as long as you are comfortable. Repeat 2-3 times both sides.
Benefits of the Seated Forward Bend Pose (Paschimottanasana):
Paschimottanasana (Forward Bend Pose) tones up Kidney and abdominal organs keeping them free from sluggishness. Paschimottanasana (Forward Bend Pose) also improves digestion and decreases belly fat. Due to extra stretch given to the pelvic region more oxygenated blood is supplied and the gonads receive sufficient nutrition.
- Start the asana with sitting on a mat with your legs stretched out straight in front of you.
- While breathing-out slowly bend forward and try to touch your feet without bending your knees.
- If you feel a constriction while bending, straighten up slightly and then try and bend further forward as far as you can go.
- Hold the position as long as you are comfortable.
- Now breathe-out and slowly return back to position #1.
Benefits of the Legs-up-the-wall Pose (Viparitakarani Asana):
Viparitakarani Asana (Legs-ups-the-wall) relieves tired or cramped legs and feet and gently stretches the back legs, front torso, and the back of the neck.
How to perform the Legs-up-the-wall Pose (Viparitakarani Asana):
- Sit next to a wall with the side of your body on the wall and your knees bent into the chest.
- Now bring your lower back onto the floor while bringing the legs up the wall and keep the upper body supported with the elbows on the floor.
- Slowly release the elbows and lower the whole back down to the floor.
- Hold the posture for several minutes.
- Now return back to normal position with bringing the knees into your chest and roll to your side.
Durations/Repetitions of the Legs-up-the-wall Pose (Viparitakarani Asana):
Hold the asana for 30 to 60 seconds atleast.
Benefits of Sheetali Prayanam
This Pranayama refreshes the body, mind & purifies the blood. It removes excess heat in the body & cools the system thus reducing anger, anxiety and stress. This is also good for high BP, constipation, indigestion, acidity, ulcers, fever, skin disease and spleen enlargement. It harmonizes the secretions of reproductive organs and all the endocrine system.
How to perform Sheetali Prayanam
• Open your mouth & stretch your tongue outside the lips foliding it like a pipe.
• Inhale gently through the folded tongue with opened eyes with the hissing sound like a snake & feel the coolness at the back of the throat.
• Then take the tongue inside your mouth, close the lips firmly and close your eyes holding the breath as long as you can.
• Very – very slowly exhale through the nose keeping your mouth firmly closed. Imagine the cool breat spreading through your entire nervous system.
• Sheetali Pranayama can be practised for 10 minutes.Author Information — this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo