Tuesday, 17 January 2017


 As for as ‘Asanas’ are concerned the ‘Gheranya Samhita’ describe them in the following shloka-
vklukfu leLrkfu ;koUrks tho tUro%A
prqj'khfr y{kkf.k f'kosukfHkfgrkfu p AA
rs"kka e/;s fof'k"Vkfu "kksM~'kksua 'kra d`reA
rs"kka e/;s eR;Zyksds }kf='knklua 'kqHk~eAA
Asanani Samastani Yavanto jeev Jantavah I
Chaturesheet Lakshani Shivenabhi hitani  ch II
Tesham madhye   Vishishtani  Shodshonam shatam Kritram I
Tesham   madhye  martyuloke dwatrishdasanam shubham II
Meaning there by number of ‘Asans’ is equal to number ‘jeev yonis' – animals i.e. 84 lacs. Out of which only 84 are important and 34 ‘Asanas’ are to be practiced daily.
               Patanjali describes ‘Asanas’ in the following manners:-
fLFkjlq[keklue~ (46)
                11-46sthira sukham asanam
          Asana is perfect firmness of body, steadiness of intelligence and benevolence of spirit.
       11-47 prayatna saithilya ananta samapattibhyam
           Perfection in an asana is achieved when the effort to perform it becomes effortless and the infinite being within is reached.
rrks }U}kufHk?kkr%A48A
          11-48 tatah dvandvah anabhighatah
          From then on, the sadhaka is undisturbed by dualities.
          In fact, the ‘Asanas’ are the controlled stretching and relaxing exercises of a particular portion of body or tissue. Stretching and relaxing – one after other – tone up the body or organ; improve blood circulation; and activate cellular processes. Improved blood circulation further improves cellular transport, resulting into more active cellular metabolism. Finally, after every ‘Asanas’ one should breath in and out at least five to ten times in most relaxed manner.
          This posture develops physical and mental stability, calms the nerves, and relieves the stiffness of knees and joints, and guards against rheumatism. The abdominal region receives a copious supply of the blood from the point where the abdominal aorta divides. The effect of this is to invigorate the coccyx region and the nerves of the sacrum. The entire body is kept in complete equilibrium.
          The meditation postures, such as Sidhasana, Svastika and Samasana all have the same therapeutic effects.
          This posture develops physical and mental stability, calms the nerves, cures stiffness in the knees and joints and prevents rheumatism. The pelvic region is abundantly supplied with blood from the point where the abdominal aorta divides, toning up the coccyx region and sacrum nerves. The entire body is kept in perfect equilibrium.
          This is an excellent exercise for the ankles, knees and thighs. It is recommended for those who lack vital energy, because this asana makes the blood flow into the trunk of the body, stimulating and regenerating the solar plexus. The exercise tones up the subcutaneous nerves, and is recommended to those whose glands are sluggish or who suffer from constipation.

Swami Kevalayananda writes in his book, “we should exercise the spinal column in all possible directions if we wish to keep it in perfect health.”
          There are six ways of bending the spinal column: forwards, backwards, to both sides, and twisting to the left and right. Sarvangasana, Halasana, Paschimottanasana and Yoga mudra strengthen the spinal column by bending it forwards. Matsyasana, Bhujangasana, Salabhasana and Dhanurasana make it more flexible by bending it backwards.
          Ardha-Matsyendrasana transmits to the spinal column to sideways twists, one to the left and other to the right. It is, therefore, a very useful asana. It has great curative value and corrects spinal deformities. It has beneficial effect on the gall-bladder, spleen, kidneys and bowels.
          This asana is extremely beneficial to the spinal column. The whole region receives an abundant supply of blood which revitalizes the nerves and muscles of the back. Exhaustion, any fatigue quickly disappear. The position also has a regenerating effect on the glandular system and clears up menstrual disorders. When practiced regularly the exercise prevents fat forming on the stomach, hips and waist.
          Those who have a stiff spinal column should practice this asana with great care, without ever straining and avoiding all brusque movements. If practiced regularly and persistently this exercise will make even the stiffest spine flexible. Viparitakarani is a good preparation for Halasana.
When practiced in moderation (three minutes a day maximum, otherwise the effect is reversed) Paschimottanasana is a good remedy for constipation. All the posterior back muscles are strengthened, thus preventing the formation of fat around the stomach. This asana has a particularly salutary effect on the spinal column. Blood rushes to the gonads, prostate gland uterus and bladder to improve their state of health. The posture regenerates the kidneys and digestive organs. It can check and even cure diabetes.
          In leaning forward the knees must remain flat to allow the muscles on the legs and the lumber region to be fully stretched. All brusque movements are to be avoided and one should not strain or force even if at the beginning one finds it difficult to lean forward. A little patience and perseverance will help to get rid of all stiffness.
          This exercise tones up the organs in the abdomen and ensures the proper functioning of the liver and spleen. It is excellent for those suffering from digestive troubles.
          Like the Paschimottanasana this asana has a beneficial effect on the spinal column allowing the muscles in the back and legs to be stretched to their fullest extent. Sudden movements of the spinal column should be avoided.
          During the practice of Bhujangasana the muscles of the back come into play, exerting pressure on the vertebrae from the neck down to the lower part of the spinal column and provoking a copious supply of blood to this region thus toning it up.
          This asana may correct discs that have slipped slightly. It soothes backaches, renders the spinal column more flexible and keeps it in good health. The exercise also has a beneficial effect on the kidneys, adrenal glands and stimulates digestion.
          Those who have a stiff spinal column should start slowly and carefully sudden movements are to be avoided.
          This is an excellent exercise for the muscles in the back arms and abdomen. It fortifies the latter and has beneficial effect on the digestive organs, curing the most stubborn constipation. This asana brings a large supply of blood to the kidneys thus cleaning and regenerating them.
Care must be taken not to tire the lungs by prolonging the posture or raising the legs brusquely.
          This asana loosens up the spinal column and strengthens the nervous centres. It also recharges the solar plexus with vital energy and tones up the abdominal organs. The exercise stimulates the endocrine gland and is excellent for women suffering from irregular or faulty menstruation. It also prevents fat forming around the stomach and hips.
          This exercise requires a certain amount of effort. Be careful of the joints and above all take it very easy.

          This posture requires great determination and concentration. It is an excellent way of bringing the body into equilibrium and fortifying the hands wrists and forearms.
          Practice of this asana will exert pressure inside the abdomen thus toning up the organs and muscles in this area of the body. The increased supply makes them healthier and cures constipation.
           This is a very difficult Asana and should therefore be practiced with great care. It requires very flexible hands and wrists so watch out for the joints.
          It is a known fact that our state of health depends to a large extent on the proper functioning of the thyroid gland. In this posture the thyroid receives an abundant supply of fresh blood owing to the regenerating effect of Sarvangasana on the thyroid the organism is kept in perfect health. Regular practice of the asana will make the symptoms of premature aging produced by thyroid disorders completely disappear. One regains youthfulness wrinkles soften and the body stays supple to a very great age.
          This posture is also a blessing to those with ovary problems and ensures the good functioning of the sexual glands both male and female. The shoulder stands clear congestion in the legs and has salutary effect on veins and haemorrhoids.
          Owing to its regenerative effect on the nervous system Sarvangasana and indeed Sirshasana can cure insomnia and Sirshasana is in the position of the head. Hence the first has more effect on the thyroid. While the second influences the brain. As both of these asanas require the body to be in a vertical position the therapeutic effect of Sarvangasana are also produced by Sirshasana since the position is similar.
          This exercise enlarges the thoracic cage and allows deeper breathing. It renders the neck supple and removes all aches and stiffness. The neck muscles are fully stretched thus provoking an abundant flow of blood to this region of the body and regenerating the thyroid and tonsils. This asana also fortifies the muscles in the back and has a beneficial effect on the spinal column.
          If the lotus position is too difficult this asana may be performed sitting cross-legged.
          Often a tensed body and irregular breathing are the cause of bad health. Rhythmic breathing in Savasana is, therefore extremely salutary for the entire body provided if it is taught properly by an instructor. By resting in this way, one avoids all mental stress. The heart and nervous system are calmed and the circulation becomes regular.
          After a few minutes relaxation in Savasana the whole organism is recharged with ‘Prana’ i.e. renewed energy and regenerative force. A quarter of an hour’s rest of this kind eliminates the toxins that have accumulated in the blood.
          Experiments performed at the Yoga Research Institute, Lonavla, have proved that it is possible by Yogic relaxation to cure high blood pressure insomnia nervous disorders and certain types of nervous depression.
          Put left knee on the ground to your left side. Clasp the right calf or heel, taking the left hand to the right side of the right knee. Put your right hand on the waist. Tum the part of body from waist to head to right side. Keep your gaze on the tip of the nose. Repeat it after 10-15 seconds changing feet.
          This Yogasana accentuates the circulation of blood towards, pancreas, naval, lungs, arms waist, thighs all parts of stomach, liver, parathyroid, kidneys, urinary bladder small intestines, the root of thighs and uterus. The nerves and the muscles related to these parts are strengthened and diseases related to them are removed. This Yogasana is particularly beneficial in cases of diabetes, trouble in breathing, obesity, diseases related to uterus, hernia and irregular monthly course.
          Taking hands behind waist, foot with left hand and that of right foot with right hand. This Yogasana very favourably affects liver, kidneys and spleen that is enlarged. It strengthens the muscles and nerves of hands, feet, shoulders and the region of waist as blood circulation is accelerated.
          Bending knees,settle on the heel. The claws of feet remain free and straight. Put both elbows in the side of naval. Close fingers in the form of fist,keeping thumb inside. Put the fists on knees. Then learn forward,exhaling slowly. Bending neck,put head on feet in such a way as feet touch the hair. This Yogasana strengthens the muscles and nerves of neck, spine, shoulders and stomach. It is particularly effective on thyroid and parathyroid. Spine gets flexible.
          To practice this Yogasana bend on the knees and close to the heels with your hands, turning spine and neck backward. This Yogasana accelerates blood circulation in thyroid, parathyroid, shoulders, spine and waist with the result that these organs start functioning as the muscles are stretched and spread.
          Sit in the position of a Vajrasana. From fists keeping the thumb inside and put them at the side of naval. Then exhale and bend downward and put head on the ground. Keep breathing even while practicing Yogasana for long time. This Yogasana is particularly useful in parts of stomach like liver, lungs, spleen, kidneys and sexual organs. Nervous system, particularly lambo-sacral nerves get strengthened. This Yogasana is very effective in adrenal gland, gonads, pancreas and some endocrine glands, gastric trouble, indigestion and diseases related to women.
          Bend right foot and put it on the left thigh. Stretch right hand out of right thigh and calf of the leg. Then put left foot in the right thigh and stretch left hand out of left thigh and calf. Place buttocks on the ground, raise the front part of body and clasp cheeks or ears with both hands. This Yogasana accelerates blood circulation in thighs, hands, calf, part of stomach, the region of waist and spine. Muscles and nerves of all these organs get strengthened. Liver, kidneys, spleens and pancreas start functioning in a better way. This Yogasana is the best for and the most useful to women. It is highly effective in hernia, gonads, adrenal, pancreas, thyroid, parathyroid and diseases related to stomach and digestion.
          Spread both the feet to the front. Bend the left foot and put it under the right buttock and the right foot near the left buttock, taking it from above the left foot. The right knee should be on the left knee. Put palm on the back, taking the right hand above. Hook the left hand, taking of front below, with the fingers of the right hand. Repeat the Yogasana changing the position of feet. This Yogasana accelerates blood circulation in chest, heart, thighs, waist, shoulders, spine and knees. The muscles and nerves of these organs get strengthened. Efficiency of lungs is increased. This Yogasana is very effective in removing heart diseases, tuberculosis, hernia, asthma and blood pressure.
Sampurna Shalbahasana
          Lie down on stomach. Put hands near armpit. Attach palm to the ground. Raise hands, feet, head and chest above at the same time. This Yogasana accelerates blood circulation in the region of waist thighs, spine, liver, pancreas and kidneys and their muscles and tissues are strengthened. Digestive system begins to work properly and gastric trouble is removed. Urinary bladder and kidneys are favourably affected. Diseases related to waist, kidneys, liver, uterus, colon, stomach, eyes, lungs, spine, feet, calf, ankles and thighs are removed.
          Lie down on back. Bent feet and attach heels to buttocks. Take and attach heels to buttocks. Take hands from under the shoulders and put palms on the ground in such a way that the fingers are directed to shoulders. No raise waist and shoulders as far as possible. Only hands and feet will remain on the ground. Try to bring claws of hands and feet as close as possible.
          Lie down straight. Bend left foot from knee and clasp calf with hands, exhale, press stomach and attach head to knees. Keep the right foot straight or move it in circles 5 times from left to right and 5 times from right to left. Repeat this action changing feet. Then join both the feet and press stomach with them. Make actions like swinging. This Yogasana helps in bringing out gas from stomach. Parts of digestive system get strength, and constipation is removed. Efficiency of liver, Kidneys and pancreas is increased. This Yogasana makes a favourable effect on thyroid and parathyroid. Blood circulation in thighs, shoulders and stomach is increased. Gastric trouble, constipation pain in waist and spine is removed. This Yogasana strengthens nerves and muscles.
          Take hands straight in the direction of ears. Raise hands, feet and head all at a time, as upward as possible. Only the naval is attached to the ground. Keep arms attached to ears. Keep hands straight. This Yogasana increases the power of digesting food. The secretion of digestive hormones in liver, stomach, gall bladder and pancreas is balanced. Efficiency of spleen and kidneys is increased. Blood circulation in shoulders, spinal cord, waist, neck and chest is increased. The muscles of these organs get strengthened and nerves get flexible.
Maintain the position of Halasana and press ears with both knees. This Yogasana very favourably affects thyroid, parathyroid, pancreas, adrenal, pituitary, endocrine glands, spine, heart and lungs. Blood circulation in the direction of shoulders, neck and waist is accelerated and muscles and nerves of these organs are strengthened. They also get flexible. This Yogasana removes diseases related to abdomen, waist and spine.
          Spread a blanket, folded four times, on the ground. Put your knees near the blanket, Join fingers of both hands and put them on the blanket. Put forehead on the ground, near the fingers. Support head by fingers. Now, putting some pressure on the forehead, raise your feet straight. In the initial stage, practice this Yogasana against a wall. In the beginning practice it for half a minute and then extend time gradually up to 10 minutes. This Yogasana must be practiced in the morning only. Those who cannot practice it, are advised to practice. This Yogasana is said to be the best and the most effective of all Yogasanaa. It mainly affects endocrine glands, pituitary gland and pineal gland. Pituitary gland secrets hormones that control all the endocrine glands and some other hormones that affect and govern all the physical, mental and spiritual activities of life. Regular practice of this Yogasana removes night pollution, weakness of sperms dyspepsia, dwarfishness, sleeplessness lethargy, laziness and irregularity of monthly course. This Yogasana helps in bringing about equanimity in life.

          Stand up. Kneel from waist and put fingers on the ground. Balance the body in a parallel position, resting knees and calves on the elbows. The weight of the body will be laid on the palms. Heels should be close to buttocks, parallel to elbows. Blood circulation is accelerated in palms, chest, fingers, wrists, elbows, armpits, shoulders and abdomen. With the result that diseases related to these parts of the body are removed and their muscles and nerves get strengthened.
(excerpts from my thesis)