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My big five (asanas)

Pincha Mayurasana

Pincha Mayurasana – Photo Jan Stads / Pix4Profs

There are asanas I like, there are asanas I absolutely not like, there are asanas I can do easily, there are asanas I will never be able to do and there are asanas maybe, maybe, maybe one day I will be able to do. There are a bunch, but I picked out five. My big five (asanas).

Why these five? Well, I think they can open up the way to more complex asanas, because they open up muscles that don’t really like to stretch within my body and they open up energetic areas that have been closed off for so long. So what are my big five? Here we go:

1.       Baddha Konasana – butterfly or bound angle
I just can’t do this pose. My legs don’t want to open up and my pelvis doesn’t want to rotate. The adductors are a problem in more poses; so a good one to work on.
-Stimulates abdominal organs, ovaries and prostate gland, bladder, and kidneys
-Stimulates the heart and improves general circulation
-Stretches the inner thighs, groins, and knees
-Helps relieve mild depression, anxiety, and fatigue
-Soothes menstrual discomfort
-Relieves sciatica, prevents hernia
-Helps relieve the symptoms of menopause
-Consistent practice of this pose until late into pregnancy is said to help ease childbirth.
-Traditional texts say that Baddha Konasana destroys disease and gets rid of fatigue.

2.       Urdhva Dhanurasana (II) – upward bow
I use to hate this pose. I have problems opening up my shoulder and chest. I worked hard lately on my back bends (energetically opening up my heart) and I’m fine now. Not my favourite yet, but I thinks it does me a lot of good.
-Stretches the chest and lungs
-Strengthens the arms and wrists, legs, buttocks, abdomen, and spine; giving the spine it’s flexibility back
-Stimulates the thyroid and pituitary
-Increases energy and counteracts depression
-Therapeutic for asthma, back pain, infertility, and osteoporosis

3.       Hanumanasana –  monkey pose
Me and John (one of my students in Tilburg) would always joke we were going to do be able to do this pose at Christmas. Two Christmases went by, I’m still not able to do it. John is getting close though. So time to work on it a little more. My hamstrings are still tight, so they can do with the extra work and my iliopsoas is tight as well. More reasons to do Hanumanasana.
-Stretches and strengthens the thighs, hamstrings, groins
-Stimulates the abdominal organs
-Cures sciatica and leg problems
There are three major openings necessary for Hanumanasana: opening up the hamstrings of the front leg, opening the hip flexors of the back leg and rooting the pelvic towards the heart.

4.       Mayurasana – Peacock pose
I’m missing the strength to lift my legs. I think I’m pretty okay with balance poses, but this is a hard one. My back and hamstrings can do with a little extra power, so here we go!
-Tones the abdomen, stimulates the blood flow in the right way in the abdominal organs. This improves digestion, cures stomach and spleen diseases.
-Prevents building up of toxins due to a wrong diet and gets rid of toxins
-Helps regulate diabetes
-Strengthens the wrists and forearms
-Strengthens the back torso and legs

5.       Pincha Mayurasana – Feathered Peacock pose
This is one of the most beautiful poses there are, I think. That’s the reason I want to do this. Getting pretty good at it, but I like to be solid.
-Strengthens the shoulders, arms, and back
-Stretches the shoulders and neck, chest, and belly
-Improves sense of balance
-Calms the brain and helps relieve stress and mild depression

A week and a half of Spanish study and of my ‘normal’ yoga routine I set up here, after that I’m going to travel around Nicaragua for three of four weeks together with Mark van Alphen. That’s a good option to do my Big Five asanas every day. A month of free flowing yoga, but just with these asanas incorporated. I can’t wait tot start with My big five (asanas)!


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