Shammi's Yogalaya

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Sashankasana (Child Pose)

Method

Step 1: Sit in Vajrasana – Sit on the floor with your legs spread out in front. Fold the right leg and bring the right heel underneath the right hip. Sitting on the right heel and placing your right palm firmly on the floor by the side of your right hip, tilt your body to the right; fold the left leg and bring the left heel underneath the left hip. So basically you are sitting on the sole of your feet.

Step 2: Move your knees around 1 and 1/2 feet apart; inhale and while inhaling, stretch and raise your arms above your head; arms are parallel to each other; your biceps should be touching your respective ears; press your hips firmly against your heels (contract your tummy a little in to do so) and further lift your abdominal region and chest cavity up towards the ceiling; you can feel a sort of vacuum in your abdominal region.

Step 3: Holding your hands stretched up, keeping your hips firm on the heels, throw your body a little at the back; feel the extension in your mid section; look up at the ceiling; exhale and while exhaling, start bending forward by maintaining your mid section extension firm; first let your abdomen rest in between your knees; then your chest and lastly your forehead. Your arms are resting on the floor above your head and your biceps are touching your respective ears.

Step 4: Stop in between to stretch further out.

Step 5: For relaxation, you can turn your head to the right side and place your left cheek on the floor for half a minute and then turn your head to the left side to rest your right cheek on the floor for an equal amount of time; be in the posture for half a minute to 1 minute as per your comfort with normal breathing. In the final position, your sitting bone should be on the heel and your forehead on the floor.

Tips: For maximum stretch, you can stretch your chin on the floor in the final posture

Benefits

  • This asana improves lung capacity; relieves lumbar pain and improves tone of abdominal muscles.
  • It also enhances blood flow to the head, stimulates the brain, and gives flexibility to the spine, ankles and knees.
  • The pose is such that it gently stretches your hips, thighs, ankles, arms, back and shoulders. In general, this asana has a calming effect on our brain and helps reduce stress.
  • Practicing this yoga asana, helps improve the circulation of blood to the scalp, face and brain. Because of increased supply of blood to the brain, it could also help relive depression and insomnia, improve concentration and memory, reduces emotional instability and anger.
  • This pose also helps in the functioning of stomach, spleen and liver.
  • In this pose, the stomach and chest cavity gets reduced; Breathing also gets constricted at the throat area. As a result, this asana helps in making the use of the back part of our rib cage while breathing.
  • It is a good asana to reduce abdomen fat.

Contradictions

  • In case of knee pain, you can assume any other comfortable sitting position instead of sitting in Vajrasan. This posture should also be avoided in case of arthritis, sever back pain, hypertension and hernia.
  • Patients with gastritis and peptic ulcer should also avoid this posture.
  • Also this asana should not be performed by pregnant women.
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