By B.K.S. Iyengar March 1999 VIRASANA CYCLE‘Vira‘ means a warrior. The asana resembles a warrior in sitting position. Techniques 1. Kneel down with knees together. 2. Move the feet 12 inches apart. 3. Rest top of the feet on the floor with toes pointed backward. 4. Lower buttocks until they touch the floor between the feet. 5. Put the palms near the knees. 6. Put body weight on the thighs and rest the waist and sides of the trunk. 7. Interlock the fingers. Remove the palms from the torso, straighten arms and raise them up. 8. Keep the chest expanded. Firm the neck and look straight. 9. Breathe normally for a while in this position with the body and elbows straight. Keep the groin and the thighs down. 10. Bring the arms down. Change the finger-lock and repeat the same. 11. Exhale. Release the finger-lock, place palms on the soles, and bend forward to rest the chin on the knees. 12. Stay there for a minute and breathe normally. 13. Inhale. Raise the trunk, bring the feet forward and relax. Benefits • Cures rheumatic pain, gout and flat feet. • Relieves arthritis of shoulders, elbows and fingers. • Relieves paining heels. • Can be performed immediately after meals to remove stomach heaviness. BADDHAKONASANA‘Baddha‘ means tied-up, restrained. ‘Kona‘ stands for angle. Technique 1. Sit down and stretch the legs. 2. Bend the knees and bring the feet towards the groins. 3. Hold the surface of the feet together. Grip the feet near the toes and bring the heels near the perineum with outer sides of the feet on the floor. 4. Widen the thighs and lower the knees to touch the floor. 5. Press the knees, ankles and thighs, and stretch the trunk upwards. 6. Stay there as long as you can. Extend the groins towards the knees. Press the sides of the shinbones downward. Extend the trunk upward from the navel. The firmer you hold the feet, the better the lift of the trunk. Keep the shoulders broad and shoulder blades tucked in. 7. Place the elbows on the thighs and press downwards. Exhale. Bend forward to rest the head, then the nose and finally the chin on the floor. Hold there for a minute and breathe normally. 8. Raise the head and come back to position five. 9. Release the feet, straighten the legs and relax. Special InstructionsInitially, it may be difficult to rest the knees on the floor due to tension in the groins. Do not force the knees down. Extend the groins towards it. Practice will make it easier. People with heavy buttocks and those with menstrual disorders can place a blanket underneath for support. Benefits• Specially recommended for urinary disorders. • The pelvis, the abdomen and the back get a good blood supply. • Keeps the kidney, prostate and the urinary bladder healthy. • Relieves sciatica pain and prevents hernia. • Regular practice relieves pain and heaviness of testicles. • It checks irregular periods and helps proper functioning of the ovary. • During pregnancy, this position can lessen delivery pain and reduce chances of getting varicose veins. • Can be performed even after meals until the head is rested on the floor. SUPTA BADDHAKONASANA‘Supta‘ means supine, lying down. This is a variation of ‘Baddhakonasana‘ and performed in a supine position. Technique 1. Lie flat on the back. 2. Bend the knees and bring the soles near the buttocks. 3. Spread the legs apart while drawing the heels and the soles together. 4. Lower the knees close to the ground. 5. Stretch the arms over the head to extend the abdominal muscles towards the chest. Turn the palms upward. 6. Retain this for half a minute and breathe normally. Increase the duration gradually. Do not raise the lumber. Keep the pelvic area wide, and chest expanded. Allow the knees to go down sideways. 7. Bring arms down. Slowly lift the knees off the ground one by one and stretch the legs. Special Instructions Sometimes the ankles and sides of the feet do not stay together. Rest your toes against a wall, hold the ankles and pull them slowly towards the thighs. Also, while raising the knees from the ground, allow the groin to relax in order to avoid jerks and spasms. Benefits• The asana relieves pain, spasm, and burning sensations in uterine organs during menstruation. • Tones up the urinary system. • Prevents hernia and helps to cure bleeding piles.
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