Utthita Parsvakonasana

Secrets Of The Ocean Breath

Breathing Techniques

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FOUR*

Parsva means side or flank. Kotia is an angle. This is the extended lateral angle pose.

technique

1. Stand in Tadasana. (Plate 1) Take a deep inhalation and with a jump spread the legs apart sideways 4 to 4Vi feet. Raise the arms sideways, in line with the shoulders, palms facing down. (Plate 2)

2. While exhaling slowly, turn the right foot sideways 90 degrees to the right, and the left foot slightly to the right, keeping the left leg stretched out and tightened at the knee. Bend the right leg at the knee until the thigh and the calf form a right angle and the right thigh is parallel to the floor.

3. Place the right palm on the floor by the side of the right foot, the right armpit covering and touching the outer side of the right knee. Stretch the left arm out over the left ear. Keep the head up. (Plates 5 and 6)

4. Tighten the loins and stretch the hamstrings. The chest, the hips and the legs should be in a line and in order to achieve this, move the chest up and back. Stretch every part of the body, concentrating on the back portion of the whole body, specially the spine. Stretch the spine until all the vertebrae and ribs move and there is a feeling that even the skin is being stretched and pulled.

5. Remain in this pose from half a minute to a minute, breathing deeply and evenly. Inhale and lift the right palm from the floor.

6. Inhale, straighten the right leg and raise the arms as in position 1.

7. Continue with exhalation as in positions 2 to 5, reversing all processes, on the left side.

8. Exhale and jump back to Tadasana. (Plate 1)

effects

This asana tones up the ankles, knees and thighs. It corrects defects in the calves and thighs, develops the chest and reduces fat round the waist and hips and relieves sciatic and arthritic pains. It also increases peristaltic activity and aids elimination.

4| Virabhadrasatta I

THREE*

Daksa once celebrated a great sacrifice, but he did not invite his daughter Sati nor her husband Siva, the chief of the gods. Sati, however, went to the sacrifice, but being greatly humiliated and insulted threw herself into the fire and perished. When Siva heard this he was gravely provoked, tore a hair from his matted locks and threw it to the ground. A powerful hero named Virabhadra rose up and awaited his orders. He was told to lead Siva's army against Daksa and destroy his sacrifice. Virabhadra and his army appeared in the midst of Daksa's assembly like a hurricane and destroyed the sacrifice, routed the other gods and priests and beheaded Daksa. Siva in grief for Sati withdrew to Kailas and plunged into meditation. Sati was born again as Uma in the house of Himalaya. She strove once more for the love of Siva and ultimately won his heart. The story is told by Kalidasa in his great poem Kumara sambhava (The Birth of the War-Lord). This asana is dedicated to the powerful hero created by Siva from his matted hair.

TECHNIQUE

2. Raise both arms above the head; stretch up and join the palms. (Plate 7)

3. Take a deep inhalation and with a jump spread the legs apart sideways 4 to 4'/2 feet.

4. Exhale, turn to the right. Simultaneously turn the right

6. The face, chest and right knee should face the same way as the right foot, as illustrated. Throw the head up, stretch the spine from the coccyx and gaze at the joined palms. (Plate 9)

7. Hold the pose from 20 seconds to half a minute with normal breathing.

8. Repeat on the left side as in positions 4 to 6, reversing all processes.

foot 90 degrees to the right and the left foot slightly to the right. (Plate 8) Flex the right knee till the right thigh is parallel to the floor and the right shin perpendicular to the floor, forming a right angle between the right thigh and the right calf. The bent knee should not extend beyond the ankle, but should be in line with the heel.

5. Stretch out the left leg and tighten at the knee.

9. Exhale and jump back to Tadasana. (Plate 1)

All standing poses are strenuous, this pose in particular. It should not be tried by persons with a weak heart. Even people who are fairly strong should not stay long in this asana.

effects

In this pose the chest is fully expanded and this helps deep breathing. It relieves stiffness in shoulders and back, tones up the ankles and knees and cures stiffness of the neck. It also reduces fat round the hips.

5| Vtrabhadrasana II

one* technique

1. Stand in Tadasana. (Plate 1)

2. Take a deep inhalation, and with a jump spread the legs apart sideways 4 to 4V2 feet. Raise the arms sideways in line with the shoulders, palms facing down. (Plate 2)

3. Turn the right foot sideways 90 degrees to the right and the left foot slightly to the right, keeping the left leg stretched out and tightened at the knee. Stretch the hamstring muscles of the left leg.

4. Exhale and bend the right knee till the right thigh is parallel to the floor, keeping the right shin perpendicular to the floor, thus forming a right angle between the right thigh and the right calf. The bent knee should not extend beyond the ankle, but should be in line with the heel. (Plate 10)

5. Stretch out the hands sideways, as though two persons are pulling you from opposite ends.

6. Turn the face to the right and gaze at the right palm. Stretch the back muscles of the left leg fully. The back of the legs, the dorsal region and the hips should be in one line.

7. Stay in the pose from 20 seconds to half a minute with deep breathing. Inhale and return to position 2.

8. Turn the left foot sideways 90 degrees to the left and the right foot slightly to the left, flex the left knee and continue from positions 3 to 6 on the left side, reversing all processes.

9. Inhale, again come back to position 2. Exhale and jump back to Tadasana. (Plate 1)

effects

Through this pose the leg muscles become shapely and stronger. It relieves cramp in the calf and thigh muscles, brings elasticity to the leg and back muscles and also tones the abdominal organs.

Mastery of the standing poses prepares the pupil for the advanced poses in forward bending, which can then be acquired with ease.

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