A dozen Asanas & their benefits (Part I)

Sirshasana – Headstand

  • The pose brings fresh oxygenated blood into the brain, the spinal cord, and the eyes, which can prevent issues with vision and other eye-related difficulties. 
  • The perfect blood flow into the brain stimulates the Pineal gland, also known as the third eye, where melatonin is being built. The hormone is responsible for the quality of sleep. 
  • Also stimulated is the Pituitary gland, which is responsible for a variety of functions in the body and the production of hormones that regulate metabolism, Thyroid health, and reproduction, just to name a few. 

Our growth, health, and quality depend on the proper functioning of these two glands.

  • Enhancing the clarity of thoughts, improving memory and concentration 
  • The Asana gives the lungs more power to resist any climate and stand up to any work.
  • In the book Light on Yoga, B.K.S Iyengar says that the regular practice of Sirsasana may also show marked improvement in the hemoglobin content of the blood. 
  • The posture releases stress because of its cooling effect hence it makes you draw your intention inwards. Especially when combining Sirshasana with slow breathing, you can find yourself in a meditative state to calm down your mind. 
  • In Sirshasnaa, you strengthen the upper body, including the arms, shoulders, and back muscles. Staying in the posture also improves the endurance of your muscles. Your core muscles work hard in Sirshasana while holding your body and legs straight. 
  • Decreases fluid build-up in the legs, ankles, and feet – Edema in the legs is no fun, and it can happen if you tend to spend long hours on your feet. Reversing the effects of gravity on your bodily fluids will help to flush out built-up water in the legs, relieving the uncomfortable feeling of edema.
  • When you flip onto your head, you will directly stimulate your lymphatic system, helping to remove toxins from your body.

Sarvangasana – Shoulderstand

  • Sarvangasana supports the vital functions of the body. 
  • Sarvangasana has a direct effect on the Thyroid & Parathyroid glands which helps them to regulate the hormonal systems and increase feelings of overall well-being. 
  • Since the body is inverted the venous blood flows directly to the heart without any strain by force of gravity. The healthy blood can freely circulate in the neck and chest area. As a result, people who suffer from breathlessness, palpitation, asthma, bronchitis, and throat ailments may get relief. Even headaches can completely disappear. Nasal disturbances and common colds can be healed. 
  • The posture also brings fresh oxygenated air into the lungs and it affects the abdominal organs, it relieves the pressure of gravity that’s resting in the internal organs and constipation vanishes – hence you may feel fully energized. 
  • When practicing Sarvangasana after a long illness, twice a day, it can bring back the loss of vitality. 
  • According to B.K.S. Iyengar’s Life on Yoga, this asana strives for the harmony and happiness of the human system. 
  • Sarvangasana stretches the shoulders and the neck 
  • Tones the legs and buttocks, as well as the core.

Plow Pose – Halasana 

  • This asana is commonly practiced from/after Sarvangasana and engages a powerful stretch to the entire muscles along the spine, and nourishes the spinal nerves. 
  • You can say the effect of Halasana is the same as that of Sarvangasana. In addition, Halasana gives a massage to the internal organs due to the contraction.
  • The spine receives an extra supply of blood due to the forward bend and may help to relieve backaches and improve the mobility of the back. 
  • This asana is a good preparation asana for people with high blood pressure as preparation before going into Sarvangasana. Once Halasana is mastered, you can go further into Sarvangasana or Paschimottanasana. 
  • In Halasana the mind becomes calm and still.

Fish Pose – Matsyasana 

  • This pose releases your body from stiffness in the spine. 
  • Matsyasana opens the chest to regulate the functionality of the lungs and the breathing becomes fuller. 
  • It benefits the Thyroid due to the neck stretching 
  • The pelvic joints gain more elasticity 
  • It opens the throat to counter-stretch the cervical part of the spine. 
  • People who suffer from asthma may benefit from Matsyasana due to its affections on the throat and lungs. 

Sitting Forward Bend – Paschimottanasana 

  • Patschimottanasana is a great posture to stretch the entire spine to keep it elastic and the joints mobile. 
  • Due to the forward bend, it massages and stimulates the internal organs such as the liver and spleen. 
  • This asana tones the kidneys rejuvenates the spine, and improves digestion due to massaging the internal organs. 
  • In great alignment, Paschimottanasana massages the spinal column and the abdominal organs. You will feel refreshed, and your mind will calm down. 
  • Due to an extra stretch in the pelvic region, more oxygenated blood can flow, and the gonad glands absorb the required nutrition from the blood to increase vitality, sometimes curing impotence and leading to sex control. 

Cobra Pose – Bhunjagasana 

  • Bhujangasana brings backward flexibility to the spine and opens it at the same time. 
  • It encourages a rich supply of blood flow freely
  • In cases of a slight displacement of the spinal discs, the practice of this pose replace the discs to their original position 
  • This asana tones and expands the chest fully
  • It stretches the spine, abdomen, shoulders, and the chest 
  • Tones your lower back muscle and the gluteus 
  • Bhujangasana is very useful to keep your back healthy. Practice this asana individually or through the Surya Namaskara to make your spinal region strong and very agile. This posture can tone your body and the spinal nerves. Bhujangasana improves your digestion, liver and kidney functions as well.