Continuing on the asana’s
- 15. Dradhasana (for comfortable sleep) – lie down on your back, turn to right and bend the right arm and place it under head. The body should be turned to the right side with torso, hips, thighs and legs roughly in a straight line. The sole of left foot should slightly overlap right instep. This relaxes the body, prevents disturbing dreams and in a short period gives rest usually obtained from a prolonged sleep. Further, lying on the right side takes weight off the heart, helps to empty the stomach and eases breathing. This is supposed to be the most restful pose in which to begin and one that induces sleep rapidly. Very good for people who want to take a short nap after lunch, especially seniors.
- 16. Ekapadasana (one legged pose) – stand with hands raised above head, bend forward slowly keeping the back straight; at the same time raise right leg while keeping the left knee rigid till arms, body and right leg are in horizontal line. Breath normally and hold the posture for 5-10 seconds, then return to upright position. Now repeat with left leg. Develops balance and calf muscles. In the initial stages you will find it difficult to maintain the posture, but be patient.
- 17. Gomukhasana (cow pose) – stand with feet pointing outwards, knees well apart. Now raise your right hand and bring it over the right shoulder half way behind your back; place your left hand behind your back and bend the elbows and raise your palm and fingers towards the right hand which is below right shoulder. With your right hand fingers try to touch with fingers of the left hand and hold if possible. Now reverse the hands. The trapezius muscles will be strengthened and made supple. And this asana prevents frozen shoulders and formation of calcium deposits at the shoulder joints. Normal breathing. In the beginning your hands and fingers may not touch each other, but with continued practice you will be able to hold the fingers. Hold it for 5 seconds and slowly increase to 15/20 seconds.
- (18) Garudasana (Eagle pose) – stand on one foot with knee slightly bent, wrap the other leg around it so that the sole rests on the calf of the other leg. (if you find this a bit difficult just keep the sole of one leg on the top the other foot). Now place one elbow into the crook of the other, palms facing outwards and entwine the fingers of both hands; then straighten the knees as much as possible and raise the joined hands as high as you can, but not above the head. Breath slowly and deeply and stay for atleast one minute. Then do this with the other leg. Improves balance, and corrects faults in posture; exercises feet and toes; increases concentration and strengthens the spine. Very good for ladies as this posture develops physical balance and poise.
- (19) Halasana (plough pose) – lie on your back with arms resting parallel to body palms down. Slowly raise your legs keeping knees together till they are vertical ( if you desire you can take the help of a wall), then lower the legs right over head till your toes touch floor and push them as far away from your head as you can. Normal breathing. Remain in this position for 10 seconds in the beginning and increase to 30 seconds; then slowly raise your legs till they are vertical and then lower down to the floor. Keeps the spine supple, strengthens the abdominal muscles and internal organs; tones the thyroid glands. Recommended asana for diabetes patients.
- (20) Jack knife (hip stand – also called boat pose) – lie on your back with arms stretched above your head, keep the knees straight. Now breath out, raise legs and arms simultaneously and try to touch and hold your knees for 10 seconds. This is a difficult pose and needs strong back, stomach and hip muscles, but practicing this asana will develop them.
~ A. Santhanam