The name Baddha Konasana is relatively recent, but the pose is medieval, as the meditation seat Bhadrasana (from भद्रा Bhadra, “throne”) is described in the 15th century Hatha Yoga Pradipika.
Bhadrasana denoting ‘auspiciousness’ is a posture that brings the Muladhara or Root Chakra to life. This asana is performed in a seated position and can be held for extended periods of time as it is fairly comfortable. The defining characteristic of the pose is a thorough lengthening of the spine and how it allows the shoulders to drop down in a relaxed manner.
The name comes from the Sanskrit words vajra, a weapon whose name means “thunderbolt” or “diamond”, and asana meaning “posture”.
Vajrasana or Thunderbolt pose is considered to be the best sitting posture, for practicing breathing exercises and meditation. In India, a lot of people sit in this asana after eating their meals. This is a great posture for smooth digestion.
From my background in martial arts (Kyokushin Karate), I recognise this asana being practised in Japan from centuries – its called seiza. The ankles are turned outward as the tops of the feet are lowered so that, in a slight “V” shape, the tops of the feet are flat on the floor and big toes overlapped, the right always on top of the left, and the buttocks are finally lowered all the way down. Depending on the circumstances, the hands are folded modestly in the lap, or are placed palm down on the upper thighs with the fingers close together, or are placed on the floor next to the hips, with the knuckles rounded and touching the floor. The back is kept straight, though not unnaturally stiff. Traditionally, women sit with the knees together while men separate them slightly. Some martial arts, such as karate, may prescribe up to two fist widths of distance between the knees for men.
Read more here: https://www.rohitghai.com/vajrasana/
One of the most recognizable yoga asanas, Vrikshasana has been identified in Indian relics dating back to the seventh century.
In ancient times, wandering holy men called sadhus would meditate in this posture for long periods of time as a practice of self-discipline.
In some traditions, the pose is called Bhagirathasana, to honor a great yogi king from India who—legend says—stood on one leg for a long time to appease the Hindu god Shiva and to be allowed to bring the sacred river Ganges from heaven to earth. “This posture represents the intense penance of Bhagiratha,” says Kausthub Desikachar, son and student of the yoga master T.K.V. Desikachar and chief executive of the Krishnamacharya Yoga Madiram in Chennai, India. “It’s supposed to motivate us to work toward our goal even if there are many obstacles in the way.” That doesn’t mean you have to stand on one leg for years. “The point is to make a dedicated effort to one’s practice,” he says. “It makes us strong, it enhances our willpower, and we achieve amazing benefits.”
Read more at https://www.rohitghai.com/vrikshasana/
Tadasana, ‘mountain pose’. B.K.S. Iyengar, the renowned guru of yoga, said, “Once we can master ‘tadasana’ then all the other poses come.”
In tadasana one begins the journey from the outer body… inwards. The basic standing pose tadasana awakens the practitioner to the body – the outermost sheath – the ‘annamaya’ kosha.
Standing in tadasana the student becomes aware of his/her body and limbs. He/she starts to observe the life underneath the skin – the breath, the mind, and thus begins to awaken to the interconnectedness of his/her internal universe.
Read more at https://www.rohitghai.com/tadasana/
Shodhana means cleaning or purification, and Pranayama is a breathing technique.
Nadis are subtle energy channels in the human body that can get blocked due to various reasons. The Nadi Shodhana pranayama is a breathing technique that helps clear these blocked energy channels, thus calming the mind.
This technique is also known as Anulom Vilom pranayama.
Read more at https://www.rohitghai.com/nadi-shodhana/
The International Yoga Day is celebrated worldwide on 21st June.
I will be posting a series of asanas to help get you started! The first of the series is Dhyana – also called meditation. An integral part of the Ashtanga Yoga ( 8 steps) of Patanjali, Dhyana brings a calmness to the mind, and helps one look inward, seeking the Atman, or Self. Try this for at least 10 minutes each day to begin with.
Preferable before sunrise, but if you can’t wake so early, anytime on an empty stomach is fine.
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