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Yoga with Props

The science of Yoga offers asanas and techniques that can be practised to facilitate the holistic development of the mind and body. Certain asanas when practised with the support of props are easier to hold for a longer time and thereby lead to more benefits. Let us acquaint ourselves with a few such asanas and techniques with props and practise them in our daily routine

The region of the thorax between the neck and diaphragm on the front side of the body is called the chest. It is an area associated with our heart and lungs and hence plays an important role in our well-being. Yogasanas help open up the chest as well as aid in maintaining our health in case of any respiratory or heart problems. Asanas for the chest also counter the effects of poor posture and the overuse or strain of muscles in this region. Those who experience muscle related chest pain will benefit from these asanas as they open, expand and strengthen the chest.


What

Shalabhasana with Chair and Blanket

Why this Name

This asana derives its name from the Sanskrit words ‘shalabha’ which means ‘locust’ and ‘asana’ – ‘pose’.

How to do it

  • Place a chair at the end of the mat with the seat facing towards the mat. Place a folded blanket on the seat of the chair.
  • Lie down on the mat, on your stomach and with the feet right under the seat of the chair.
  • With support of your arms, gently remove the feet from under the seat of the chair, raise both legs and place them on the blanket with the toes flat. Rest the feet in a comfortable position on the blanket.
  • Once this position is steady, slowly inhale and raise the head, shoulders and chest upwards. You may look in front while doing the same.
  • Simultaneously, raise the arms by your sides as high as you can by pulling the shoulder blades back. You can place the hands on the back of the thighs for better support.
  • Hold this position for 6-8 breaths.
  • Exhale, rest the hands and bring the feet down onto the floor back to the initial position.

Which Benefits

  • Expands the chest region.
  • Promotes blood circulation.
  • Strengthens and adds flexibility to the spine and back muscles.
  • Burns fat.

What

Chakrasana with Wall and Blocks

Why this Name

This asana derives its name from the Sanskrit words ‘chakra’ which means ‘wheel’ and ‘asana’ – ‘pose’.

How to do it

  • Place your mat vertically by the wall and two blocks against the wall, around shoulder width distance apart.
  • Lie down on your back and place your head between the two blocks.
  • Bend the knees such that the feet are flat on the floor and twist the wrists backward, placing your palms on the blocks so as to support the arms to lift up.
  • Inhale, press down the hands and feet strongly to lift the torso and head up completely, raising the entire body up and forming a deep arch in the back.
  • You may push the hands on the blocks against the wall forcefully to hold yourself up and try to bring the chest closer to the wall to perfect this posture.
  • Breathe deeply and hold this pose for 6-8 breaths.
  • Exhale and bring yourself back down onto the floor.
  • You may bring the knees to the chest in Pavanmuktasana and roll on the back, to release any tension caused in the back from this intense stretch.

Which Benefits

  • Stretches every major muscle in the body.
  • Opens up the chest region.
  • Strengthens the heart.
  • Stimulates thyroid and pituitary glands.
  • Good for patients suffering from asthma and osteoporosis.

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