Ardha baddha padmottanasana strengthens the leg muscles, improves blood circulation, stimulates the digestive processes and develops a good sense of balance.
Raise the two
The word vata means 'air' and yana means 'a vehicle'. Literally, the asana can be translated as 'the airborne vehicle pose'. However, the composite word vatayana has another meaning: 'a flying horse' or 'a horse that moves like the wind'. Specifically it is the name of a flying horse that is a part of Indian mythology. The equivalent in Western and Greek myths is Pegasus, the winged horse. Therefore, vatayan-asana can be translated as 'the flying horse pose', 'winged horse pose' or 'the galloping horse pose'. You may ask: "Why this name? The pose does not look like a horse nor does it help one to fly." The answer will come when you try the asana for yourself. It is very difficult to raise the body utilizing the muscles of only one leg. The arms have to be used both to provide balance and to give an extra upward momentum. The arms are held sideways like wings and used to help raise the body to the standing position in the same way that Pegasus raises itself with its large wings.
Ifyou watch someone else, with imagination you will also see that the two legs in the final pose do slightly resemble the legs of a horse in profile. The name vatayanasana is actually a very fitting description of the asana.
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