Suryanamaskar (Back 5 Steps)
  • Yoga
  • Benefits
  • Contraindication

Suryanamaskar Posture 8: Adhomukha Svanasana (Downward Facing Dog)


Step 1:
 Exhale and move your left leg at the back. Left leg should be placed parallel to the right leg. The distance between both the legs should be 6 inches.


Step 2:
 Push the end of the palms on the floor; stretch your arms and lengthen it as much as possible; lengthen your armpit; press your chest in towards your thighs, tuck your tummy in towards your pelvic, thighs are rolling in; keep raising your hips up pointed to the ceiling. By now, you will feel the engagement of your hamstrings as well.


Step 3:
 Each and every part of your body is stretched; hold the posture with normal breathing and look at your toes.



Suryanamaskar Posture 9: Ashwa Sanchalanasana (Equastrian Pose / Riding Pose)


Step 1:
 Inhale and move your right leg at the back as much as possible.


Step 2:
 Your left knee is bent and is standing above your left ankle.


Step 3:
 Your palms are placed on the floor (palms are in line with your shoulders) with your arms tall and shoulders lifted up.


Step 4:
 Your left knee is in line with the second left toe.


Step 5:
 Left thigh is parallel to the floor. In order to optimize the quadriceps stretch in this position, mentally push your left bent knee forward and at the same time push your left thigh into your left groin and then your left groin down towards the floor. Also keep your right heel stretched down towards the floor. There will not be much of visible movement during this adjustment. However, visualizing and trying to do so will enhance the stretch quality of your quadriceps.


Step 6:
 Move your attention to your abdomen. Push your navel into your spine and start stretching your front torso starting from your navel, stretch your chest, upper back and head up.


Step 7:
 Chest should not be resting on the left thigh but should be separated from that.


Step 8:
 This is the final position of the Ashwa Sanchalanasana.



Suryanamaskar Posture 10: Pada Hastanasa (Hand to foot pose)


Step 1:
 From position no. 2, inhale and move your arms and head back to a straight standing position (tadasana) with both the hands stretched above your head in the Namaste Mudra. Press your feet firmly on the floor and stretch your arms straight up; stretch your body up, the stretch should be felt from your toes to the fingers tips; exhale; tuck your tummy in and bend forward from the hips (bending from the hips is desirable though many people bend from the waist). Hence, the first part which protrudes out is your hips which slowly glides to the back; your arms and head are in one line; you are looking at the ceiling and bending forward. Half way to bending, stretch your hips further out and at the same time, push upper part of the body in front using your mid section and pelvis as stabilizers (which are fully stretched). Lengthen your mid section and use abdominal region to bend forward and down so that, first, your chest rests against the thighs, then comes your chin and finally your forehead against your legs. Chest should be tightly pressed against your thighs. Basically you are using your core to bend down completely.


Step 2:
 Try to keep your legs straight by pushing your thighs at the back and at the same time lifting your hips up to the ceiling. Do not bend at the knee.


Step 3:
 If possible, rest right palm at the outer side of the right leg and left palm at the outer side of the left leg. If you are comfortable in this position, move the palms further back towards your heels and rest your chin between the knees. Your front torso, chest, chin and forehead are firmly and tightly resting against your legs.


Step 4:
 Keeping your tummy tucked in; you are trying to slide your chest towards the ankle. Make sure the back is straight and tall and there is no convex curvature on your upper back.


Step 5:
 Maintain the position with normal breathing for 30 seconds to a minute.


Tips: Try to keep the back straight, focusing your awareness on the pelvis, the pivoting point for the stretch of the back and leg muscles.



Suryanamaskar Posture 11: Hasta Uttanasana: (Raised Arm Pose)


Step 1:
 Maintaining the right tension in the body, inhale and stretch both the arms in front of your chest. Make sure the upper part of the body does not lean forward as you stretch your arms in front. You may, in fact, push it slightly at the back to maintain the stretch.


Step 2:
 Start raising your arms upward towards your ears. This should be a slow movement. Your right biceps should be touching your right ear and left biceps should be touching left ear. Mentally check the involvement of your muscles and lengthen your whole body while pressing the middle of the heels and big toe mount and small toe mount on the floor.


Step 3:
 Take your whole body into backward bending by squeezing your hips inward. This bend should involve each and every part of your body from toes to the fingertips. The stretch should be felt throughout especially in the frontal side of the body.


Step 4:
 Your head is upright and in alignment with the rest of the vertebrae.  Knees are almost locked. Thighs are very much in line with the rest of the legs.



Suryanamaskar Posture 12: Pranamasana (Prayer Pose)


Step 1:
 Stand with your feet together or a foot apart as per your comfort; keep your heels fixed on the floor and raise the rest of your foot off the floor, stretch the arch of the foot and place the big toe mount on the floor; stretch all your toes out, hold for few seconds and then softly place your toes on the floor (toes remain in a contracted state for a longer period of time especially among those who wear closed shoes regularly).


Step 2:
 Tighten your thigh muscles by slightly pushing your thighs at the back and then raising it up to the groin along with the kneecaps, engage your hips and contract it. Simultaneously tuck your stomach in too. Maintain the alignment of your pelvis (visualize the situation when you tuck your navel into your spine while trying to fit into your tight jeans).


Step 3:
 Inhale, puff up your chest as if you are raising it to the ceiling; raise your shoulders up towards your earlobes, push it at the back and allow your shoulder blades (checking for scapula balance) alone (not shoulders) to slide down (this will take care of the thoracic region and will keep it relaxed and tension free). Make sure you do not create extra curve at the back during this process.


Step 4:
 Your head is standing on your neck and your neck is standing on your spine. Keep your chin parallel to the floor; ear lobes are almost in line with the shoulders (this will take care of your cervical area and keep it aligned & relaxed).


Step 5:
 Maintain the alignment of your body as mentioned above. Your arms are by the side of your body. Raise your arms and bring your palms together in front of your chest. Your thumbs are resting in the middle of the chest and your elbows are parallel to the floor.

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