Lie on the back with the knee bent and the heels touching the buttocks. The feet and knees should be 30 cm apart. Place the palms on the floor beside the head.
Slowly raise the body and arch the back allowing the crown of the head to support the weight of the upper body. Move the hands in further towards the body for more support if necessary. Straighten the arms and legs as much as possible without straining and lift the head and trunk from the floor. Arch the back as high as is comfortable in the final position. Straighten the knees further by moving the trunk towards the head.
This is a backbend and an inversion pose. It strengthens the legs. It is beneficial to the nervous, digestive, respiratory, cardiovascular and glandular systems. It influences all the hormonal secretions and helps relieve gynecological disorders.
Effects of Inversions
They stimulate the pituitary and pineal glands on which the growth, health and vital strength of a person depends.
Circulatory system: the blood circulates to the brain, the cells are rejuvenated and the brain is stimulated. Inversions also encourage venous return because of gravity and this relaxes the heart and the beat slows down. The whole pressure differential is reversed.
Effect on the brain: they oxygenate the brain therefore rejuvenating the cells…the thinking power, the clarity, memory, concentration and memory faculty’s increase.
Lymphatic system: they increase circulation and drainage of lymphatic fluid. So lymph fluid is relieved from legs and ankles.
Immune system: as the lymphatic system is stimulated, the immune system is strengthened.
Nervous system: inversions increase alertness throughout the day. They have a calming effect. A cooling effect is felt on the face during the pose.
Respiratory system: in inversions the air goes easily to lower lungs unlike when we stand upright. Therefore the oxygen to blood exchange is more efficient.
Digestive system: they increase digestive fire. It cleanses and releases the intestines. The change in posture stimulates the peristaltic. Furthermore the fresh blood invigorates the kidneys, liver, and stomach systems.
Reproductive system is also stimulated.
Musculoskeletal system: they strengthen the spine, neck, shoulders and arms. The lactic acid produced by the muscles gets back to the liver and is converted or removed.
1:- Describe cobra pose and its benefits.
Lie flat on the stomach with the legs straight, feet together and the soles of the feet up. Place the palms of the hands flat on the floor, below and slightly to the side of the shoulders. Position the arms so that the elbows point backward and are close to the sides of the body. Rest the forehead on the floor and close the eyes. Relax the whole body, especially the lower back. Slowly raise the head and tilt it backward so that the chin points forward then raise the neck and the shoulders. Straighten the elbows using the back muscles first, then the arm muscles to raise the trunk further and arch the back.
In the final position the pubic bone remain in contact with the floor.
This is a backbend. It improves and deepens breathing. It can help to remove backache and keep the spine supple and healthy. It tones the ovaries and uterus and helps in menstrual and other gynecological disorders. It stimulates the appetite, alleviates constipation and is beneficial for all the abdominal organs, especially liver and kidneys.
Effects of backbends
Muscular system: They are strengthening and stretching muscles on the front side of the body. They keep the spine supple and therefore they keep us young. They stretch and tome the abdominal region. They strengthen the legs, especially thighs.
Respiratory system: They increase lung capacity, they extend the diaphragm. We can then breathe fully and we feel more energetic and alert.
Endocrine system: the endocrine glands in the front of the body are stimulated (pancreas, thymus and adrenals).
Nervous system: the sympathetic (activating) nervous system is stimulated. Therefore mental activity increases. They also stimulate the spinal nerves and increase blood flow in the spine.
Digestive system: they increase the digestive fire which helps to eliminate toxins from the physical and subtle bodies. They activate intestines, digestive glands and increase peristaltic.
Circulatory system: they improve circulation of blood and lymph in different parts of the body. Wheel pose increases circulation throughout the body by stretching and by force of gravity.
General effects: they release tension in shoulders, chest and hips and increase flexibility. They increase heat in the body, and they make us more extrovert. They combat depression, asthma and constipation
3:- What are asanas and what are they not?
Asanas are not physical exercises.
-they activate the parasympathetic nervous system mostly whereas exercise activates mostly the sympathetic system. The subcritical region of the brain dominates whereas exercise activates cortical regions of the brain mostly. The movements are slow or static whereas in exercise the movements are forceful and rapid. The muscle tone is normalized whereas exercise increases muscle tension. There is a low risk of injury whereas there is a higher risk of injury during exercise. There is a low caloric consumption as effort is minimized whereas in exercise the consumption is medium to high. The effect is relaxing or energizing whereas exercise is tiring. Opposing group muscles are activated in a balanced way whereas in exercise often it is imbalanced. There is a spirit of non competition whereas in exercise there is often a spirit of competition. Awareness is internal whereas in exercise awareness is external. There are limitless possibilities for growing self awareness whereas one can get bored by doing exercise.
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