We hang in the sofa, we hang in our desk chair at work, we hang in the chairs in the train, we hang in our chairs during dinner. All this hanging affects our lower spine in a bad way. Where our lower back is supposed to be a bit hollow, this curve is disappearing of all the ‘hanging’ we do in our lower back. To correct this, Seal pose is the best pose you can do.
It’s actually my favorite yoga asana. As you might know by now, I’m not a very big back bending fan. The pose that changed my view on backbends was Seal pose. I can’t say it is a comfortable one, but at least it was one I could do, without being drained of all the power in my arms and legs, which normally would happen in poses like wheel. So for me Seal pose is a good pose as one of your starting poses in your backbend adventure. Just begin slowly with a couple of seconds and then build the duration up.
Seal pose is a yin yoga pose. It’s the yin variation of Bhujangasana, so you can be in this pose for 3 to 5 minutes if it feels good.
Getting into Seal pose
- Start lying flat on your belly, spread your arms to the side, so you form a T-shape
- Spread your legs, forming a V-shape with your legs, turn your toes outwards
- Lift your torso from the floor, by ‘walking’ your hands in a bit. Keep your arms straight. Your pubic bone is still resting on the floor
- Look either in front of you or slightly upwards
- Stay in the pose as long as comfortable. Build it up slowly
- Lower yourself down, stay on your belly for a couple of minutes and move into child pose
Benefits of Seal pose
- Brings the natural curve back in the spine. People with bulging or herniated disks may find this very therapeutic
- If the neck is dropped back, the thyroid gland is stimulated
- Stretches the abdominals
Source: Iyengar – Light on Yoga / Key muscles of Yoga – Ray Long / Ashtanga – David Swenson / Asana Pranayama Mudra Bandha – Swami Satyananda Saraswati