Home Wisdom Articles Yoga Venerating Tirthankars through Yoga – Part 1

Venerating Tirthankars through Yoga – Part 1

Yoga asanas can become a medium of expressing our reverence towards the Tirthankar Bhagwans. Inspired by the work on Jain Yoga by Shri Shantilal D. Parakh, these asanas are derived from various aspects of the 24 Tirthankars like Their life stories, symbols (lanchans) and virtues. Let us add an element of devotion in our yoga practice through these asanas

What

Kraunchasana honouring Shri Sumatinath Bhagwan

Why this Name

This asana derives its name from the Sanskrit words ‘kraunch’ which means ‘heron bird’ and ‘asana’ – ‘pose.’ Heron bird is the lanchan of the fifth Tirthankar, Shri Sumatinath Bhagwan.

How to do it

  • Start in Dandasana.
  • Inhale and bend the right foot from the knee to bring it to the side of the right thigh to be in the Ardha Veerasana pose. Exhale.
  • Inhale, raise the arms up and grab the sole of the left foot with both the palms, slightly bending the knee to grip the foot.
  • Exhale, lean backward and slowly raise the left leg up as high as possible, forming a 45 to 90-degree angle with the ground. Straighten the knee to the best of your ability.
  • Inhale and straighten the back. Exhale with the head tilted slightly upward.
  • Hold this position for 10 counts, breathe deeply and chant the mantra ‘Ṇamo Sumaīṇaṁ’ mentally or loudly.
  • Release the pose coming back into Dandasana and repeat on the other side.

Which Benefits

  • Strengthens muscles of the legs.
  • Stimulates the abdominal organs.
  • Relieves persistent gas problems.
  • Beneficial to those with flat feet.

Contraindications

  • Avoid performing this asana if you have any hip, knee or ankle injury.

What

Padmasana honouring Shri Padmaprabhu Bhagwan

Why this Name

This asana derives its name from the Sanskrit words ‘padma’ which means ‘lotus flower’ and ‘asana’ – ‘pose.’ Red Lotus flower is the lanchan of the sixth Tirthankar, Shri Padmaprabhu Bhagwan.

In Jain temples, the seating idols of Tirthankar Bhagwans are in this classic Padmasana pose.

How to do it

  • Start in Dandasana.
  • Inhale, bend the right knee and place the right foot on the left thigh.
  • Exhale and bend the left knee, placing the left foot on the right thigh, over the right leg. Ensure the soles are pointing upward and the heels remain in line with the lower groin.
  • Inhale and place hands on respective knees. Exhale, look forward, straighten the back and close your eyes.
  • Hold this asana for 10 counts and chant the mantra ‘Ṇamo Padmāṇaṁ’ mentally or loudly.
  • Release the asana and repeat the pose on the other side.

Which Benefits

  • Strengthens the lower back and legs.
  • Stretches knees and ankles.
  • Improves digestion and helps avoid intestinal problems.
  • Reduces menstrual cramps.

Contraindications

  • Avoid performing this asana if you have any spine, knee or ankle injury or are suffering from sciatica.

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