Benefits of Asana (part 3)

Benefits of Asana (part 3)
11 February, 2014

Open Angle Pose (Upavistakonasana)

This pose stretches out the entire back, arms, legs and its insides as it also opens the hips.  The pose offers the following benefits:

  1. Abdominal organs will be stimulated;
  2. Spine will be strengthened; and,
  3. Brain is calmed as the groin is released.

Raised Hand to Big Toe Pose (Utthitahastapadangusthasana)

This pose concentrates on the upper back.  It’s a good therapeutic pose for those people who have osteoporosis.  Those who have injuries on the ankle or low back should not perform this pose.

The benefits would include:

  1. Ankles and legs will be strengthened;
  2. Backs of the legs will be stretched; and,
  3. Sense of balance will be improved.

Salutation Hand Pose (Anjali Mudra)

Anjali means salutation and Mudra is sign.  This pose is a show of greeting, respect, and sometimes a gesture of praying mostly professed or is customary in many countries especially in Asia. 

This is seen in many yoga poses like the Sun, Tree or Standing Tall poses.  It is also used during meditation.  A more definitive and symbolical meaning of this pose is the yoking or unification of the two palms which represents both sides of the brain’s hemisphere.  It is this unification that one honors and respects the present divinity in the person. 

The posture may seem so simple but there are still benefits that can be attributed to it.  Fingers, hands, wrists, and arms get more flexible.  It also eliminates anxiety and stress.

Standing Forward Bend Pose (Uttanasana)

Just like the camel pose, this asana focuses on strengthening the thighs as it stretches the calves, hamstrings and hips.  This would be a good therapy for those having a stressful day, having a high blood pressure, and suffering from osteoporosis, asthma or sinusitis.  A lot of benefits can be derived from this pose:

  1. Liver and kidneys will be stimulated;
  2. Brain is calmed which helps in relieving stress and preventing mild depression;
  3. Digestion is improved;
  4. Symptoms of menopause will be relieved;
  5. Anxiety and fatigue will be reduced; and,
  6. Insomnia and headache will be relieved.

Stick Pose (Urdhvadanḍasana)

This pose actually prepares one to enable performance of the headstand pose.  This would require great strength in the spine, shoulders, and abdominal muscles because this will counteract the curving of the back body.  As strength is cultivated in this pose, the benefit that one will get is the creation of a stronger and uniform base that will help them perform the headstand pose.  

The Abdominal Lock Pose (Uḍḍiyanabandha)

The abdomen and thorax are the anatomical focus of this pose.  People experiencing indigestion and constipation may well be relieved as this pose is a good therapy for such conditions.  For those who have medical conditions such as hernia, intestinal or stomach ulcers, high blood pressure, glaucoma, heart disease, pregnant or has menstruation should avoid this pose.  

Regular practice of this pose would provide the following enhancements:

  1. Diaphragm and abdominal muscles will be strengthened;
  2. Solar plexus, abdominal viscera, and the lungs and heart will be massaged;
  3. Gastric fire will be increased;
  4. Digestion, assimilation, and elimination will be improved;
  5. Toxin’s digestive tract will be purified;
  6. Blood flow to brain and blood circulation in the abdomen will be stimulated;
  7. Lower belly’s energy will be lifted and stimulated.

Triangle Pose (Trikonasana)

This type of pose is classified as standing.  Benefits that can be gained from this pose would include relieving back pain; strengthening the legs; stretching the hips, hamstrings, and groins, and; opening up the shoulders and chest.

Twist Pose (Bharadvajasana Bharadvaja)

This pose concentrates on the upper back.   This is therapeutic especially for those who are having a stressful day and specifically for people having a carpal tunnel syndrome.  Pregnant women who are on their second trimester should practice this pose to help strengthen the lower back.  However forewarned is given to those who have their menstrual period, diarrhea, headache, insomnia, and high or low blood pressure.

This pose offers numerous benefits such as:

  1. Spine, hips, and shoulders are stretched;
  2. Abdominal organs are massaged;
  3. Sciatica, neck pain, and lower backache are alleviated;
  4. Digestion is improved;

Upside-Down Tortoise Pose (Uttanakūrmasana)

Performing this pose will help one in opening out the back, hips, thighs, and shoulders.  The pose is also good in increasing the brain’s blood flow which in turn increases one’s concentration.  Another benefit of this pose is it helps to reduce down the thickness in and around the abdomen.

Upward-Facing Dog Pose (Urdhvamukhasvanasana)

The wrists are the anatomical focus of this pose.  This can be applied as a therapy for Sciatica, fatigue, asthma, and mild depression.  Contraindications for this pose include those with headache, pregnant, back injury, and carpal tunnel syndrome.  Following are the benefits of the pose:   


  1. Shoulders, abdomen, and chest & lungs will be stretched;
  2. Arms, wrists, and spine will be strengthened;
  3. Buttocks will be firmed;
  4. Posture will be improved; and,
  5. Abdominal organs will be stimulated.
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