Level2_Assignment # 7

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Name: Svetlana Burkat
Mentor: Marilou Hermens
Place: Saint-Petersburg
Level2_Assignment # 7
Choose five Level Two asanas, provide a description of the benefits and contraindications, list a sequence using preparatory pose(s) and counter pose(s) from
Level One, and describe how to perform the five asanas. Refer to questions 3
through 5 in the Hatha Yoga and Integrated Practice study area.
1.
Trikonasana – Triangle Pose
Type – Standing pose
Benefits - releases the hips, legs and entire spinal column and nerves; opens the sides of
the body, chest, shoulders; increases flexibility in the hip joints; stretches the back of the
legs, spine, stimulates the abdominal organs, improves sense of balance; helps relieve
stress.
Contraindications – low blood pressure, headache, posterolateral hernia lumbar spine; with
neck problems don’t turn head to look upward; continue looking straight ahead and keep
both sides of the neck evenly long.
Preparation: J&G’s such as – all shoulders exercises for developing shoulder joints, upper
chest also; Torso &Abdomen – Overhead stretch, Horizontal stretch (hands on hips), Gentle
Side Bends (standing), Torso Twist, Torso Rotation, Hip Openers in standing. Swimming
Stretch as warming up and preparation of the sides of torso for stretching. To prepare
Trikonasana do Tadasana, Vrikshasana, Prasaritta Padottanasana, Chalasana, which develop
flexibility in the hips, middle and lower back and hamstrings.
Counter poses - Balasana, Torso Twist (arms relaxed).
Perform the asana – From Mounting pose (Tadasana), arms extend out to sides on the
shoulder level; mentally drop a plumb line from wrists to the floor. Feet step wide apart so
they are positioned under the wrists approximately (that distance depends on individual
abilities of person). Feet turn about 30 degrees inward, check knee position; knees have to
be to align over the ankles, then lower arms. Pivot the right foot 90 degrees out. Notice the
entire leg must rotate outward as well. To do this the left side of the pelvis must move
forward, this adjustment makes it easier to keep the entire right leg rotated outward over
the right ankle and toe. The knee is a hinge joint, so whenever feet turn in particular
direction, knees must obey the feet. The heel of the right foot should be in line with the
arch of the left foot or the left heel. Inhale and extend the arms out to the sides in line with
the shoulders, palms down. Exhale and slowly begin to tip the pelvis over the right thigh,
keep the lower back in neutral position. Smoothly continue the movement bending to the
right side, place the right hand on the leg above or below the knee according to a personal
capacity, keep hips facing forward. As position is completed the attention switches on the
breath. Take breathe in and the legs are anchored to the earth; take breathe out and allow
the spine to elongate from head to tail. Don’t compress the lower back. With each outgoing
breath, widen the span of the arms so the back of the body is broad. Keep the head in a
neutral position look forward in the beginning and in the end of the posture, and then turn
to look up and beyond the left hand. After 3-5-10 breaths (depends on the level of group)
take an inhale and slowly return to a standing position, then turn right foot forward. Exhale
lower arms and observe the body response for a while. Repeat asana to the left side.
Beginners, people with spinal problems, who has tight thighs and has cardiac problems
should practice against a wall, use it as a support. In advanced variation hand can place on
the floor on the inside or outside of the foot.
2.
Mandukasana – Frog Pose
Type – Sitting pose
Benefits – increases the flexibility of the hips, ankles, knees; stretches the quadriceps, inner
thighs and groin, increases circulation to all organs of the pelvis.
Contraindications – serious knee and ankle injury.
Preparation: J&G’s: hip opener sequence, leg cradles, knee bends, knee swirl, ankle squat;
as preparation for Mandukasana we should practice Sukhasana (Easy posture), Vajrasana
(Kneeling posture) Badha Konasana (Butterfly), Gentle hip opener.
Counter poses – Dandasana, Katikasana.
Perform the asana – Sit in Virasana, widen the legs with the big toes touching. The pelvis
rests on the floor, not buttocks, if necessary, use blanket to support the hips and reduce
strain at the knees. Lengthen the spine up out of the pelvis through the crown of the head,
sitting bones release toward the floor.
3.
Katikasana (Purvottanasana) Upward-Facing Plank pose (East Stretch)
Type – Backward Bending pose
Benefits – strengthens the arms, wrists; opens the upper chest; strengthens legs, front
ankles and abdominal muscles.
Contraindications –carpal tunnel syndrome, high blood pressure, heart condition.
Preparation: J&G’s for shoulders, arms, wrists, simple upper back stretch; as preparation for
Katikasana we should practice Table pose with lifting arms/twisting spine, Ardha
Bhujangasana (Spinx Pose), Sun Salutation, push-up exercises.
Counter poses – Knee-to-chest (lie on the back), Marjaryasana, Balasana, Ardho Mukha
Svanasana .
Perform the asana – Sit in Dandasana (Staff pose), with extended legs in front of the body.
Place the palms flat on the floor and little behind the hips with fingers pointed forward.
Press the tailbone down and elongate the spine. Activate the buttock muscles, inner tights,
lifting the kneecaps. With inhale lift the pelvis and chest toward the ceiling, pressing the
soles of the feet toward the floor. Keep the lower back in neutral position by lifting tailbone
up. Head is in line with spine. Take 3 full breaths and slowly return to seated position with
exhalation. For beginners and people with weak wrists &shoulders should be better to start
practice the half variation of the asana (with knees bend).
4.
Janu Sirsasana (Head-to-Knee Forward Bend Pose)
Type – Forward Bending pose
Benefits – Calms the brain and helps relieve mild depression; opens the hips and spine;
stretches spine, shoulders, hamstrings and groins; tones the abdominal organs and sex
glands; stimulates the kidneys and liver; relieves anxiety, fatigue, headache, menstrual
discomfort; therapeutic for high blood pressure, insomnia, and sinusitis.
Contraindications – asthma, serious lower back, knee injury.
Preparation: J&G’s for hips, simple upper back stretch, leg cradles; as preparation for Janu
Sirsasana we should practice: Vrksasana, Preparation for head to foot (Uttanasana),
Prasaritta Padottanasana, Chalasana, Balasana, Sukhasana (forward bending variation),
Badha Konasana, Adho Mukha Svanasana.
Counter poses – Katikasana, Shavasana.
Perform the asana – Sit in Dandasana (Stick pose), with extended legs in front of the body,
buttocks lifted on a folded blanket. Bend the right knee, then bringing the right foot to the
inside of the left thigh; draw the left heel toward the perineum. If the right knee has come
up off the floor, place a blanket underneath it for support. Lengthen the torso and extend it
over the left leg. Inhale and lift the chest, then exhale and bend from the left hip out over
the extended leg, sliding the hands gradually along the floor on either side. Inhale and
elongate the spine, hands on the leg, lift and flatten the lower back and press the back of
the leg toward the floor. Deepen the stretch by continuing with the breaths until the ankles,
toes or foot can be reached. Finally, widen and lengthen the back and release the upper
body toward the leg. Breathe and center in the pose. To come out, inhale, flatten the back,
and stretch out. Repeat on the other side.
5.
Viparita Karani (Upside-Down Seal)
Type – Inverted pose
Benefits – rejuvenates whole structure; balances the neuroendocrine system; reduces water
retention in the legs; facilitates deep breathing; strengthens diaphragm; reduces fatigue
and depression; calms the brain; stretches the shoulders and neck; improves digestion;
helps the brain circulation; therapeutic for varicosity, hemorrhoids .
Contraindications – eye pressure, retinal problems; heart problems; menstruating women;
chronic maxillary sinusitis; otitis; spine and neck injury; those with high blood pressure
should be cautious.
Preparation: J&G’s for: shoulders, upper chest, back bending stretch; as preparation for
Viparita Karani we should practice: back bending asanas, Adho Mukha Svanasana, Lifting
legs, Stetu asana with support.
Counter poses – Matsyasana, Knee-to-Chest, Balasana, Shavasana.
Perform the asana – Viparita Karani is a supine asana with vertical legs. Without use of a
wall, Viparita Karani resembles a Salamba Sarvangasana (supported shoulder stand) but
with flexion in the thoracic spine (rather than the cervical spine), elbows on the floor and
hands supporting hips or lower back. A more advanced variation has the entire spine on the
floor and 90° flexion at the hips with arms relaxed alongside the torso.
Start on the back and move into the Half Plow pose, place hands on hips on either side of
the spine, bring elbows to shoulder width apart. Inhale and rise both legs until they are
perpendicular or 45 degree angle to the floor, breathe evenly and hold position for 20-30
seconds. Exhale and return to Half Plow position and slowly lower the legs to the floor, relax
on the back. Slowly increase capacity until the pose can be held for one minute.
Refer to questions 3 through 5 in the Hatha Yoga and Integrated Practice study
area.
Question 3. About practice Level Two asanas with preparation and without it.
Practice asanas with preparation is much easier then without it, because body needs time to
adjust the new movements, which are necessary for that. In fact, the performing of yoga
postures inquires many new unknown movements in different planes, so all tissues
(muscles, joints, ligaments etc) and mind should be gradually and properly taught by
constantly improving of their ranges. There are two obstacles on that way: one of them is
unknown movements, which are absent in the body storage, so tandem of mind&body is
unfamiliar with that and another one is the capacities of joints. Therefore practice asanas
with preparation helps to awake the whole structure, by warming-up body on the physical
level and activate the pranic body on the energy level.
Question 4. English and Sanscrit names for the Level Two asanas; Question 5. Contraindications for the Level Two asanas.
Standing
1. Tadasana – Mountain Pose
Contraindications – insomnia, serious knee and hip injury, low blood pressure, headache.
Benefits – a foundation for all standing postures, improves posture; strengthens thighs,
knees, ankles; firms abdomen and buttocks, relives sciatica, reduces flat feet.
2. Vrkshasana –Tree Pose
Contraindications – serious knee and hip injury, low blood pressure, high blood pressure
(don’t raise arms overhead), headache, insomnia.
Benefits – improves sense of balance, reduce tightness shoulders; restores the circulation
arms and spine; increases lung volume; improves posture; strengthens spine, thighs,
knees, ankles; reduces flat feet.
3. Padahastasana – Hand to Foot
Contraindications – eye pressure, retinal problems; heart problems; high blood pressure;
hamstrings injury; lower back and neck injury; pregnancy.
Benefits – calms brain, helps releases stress, anxiety, insomnia, head ache, relaxes nervous
system, stretched hamstrings, calves, improves digestion, stimulates the liver and kidneys.
4. Konasana – Angle Pose
Contraindications – sciatica, back tigh muscles and lower back injury; those who have high
blood pressure should keep spine parallel the floor.
Benefits – calms brain, helps releases stress, anxiety, insomnia, head ache; relaxes nervous
system; stretched hamstrings, calves, restores the circulation legs; improves digestion;
stimulates abdominal organs.
5. Trikonasana – Triangle Pose
Contraindications – low blood pressure, headache, posterolateral syndrome, hernia lumbar
spine, who has neck problems should look forward; those who have high blood pressure
don’t look up for too long.
Benefits - releases the hips, legs and entire spinal column and nerves; opens the sides of
the body, chest, shoulders; increases flexibility in the hip joints; stretches the back of the
legs, stimulates the abdominal organs, improves sense of balance.
6. Natarajasana – King Dancer Pose
Contraindications – low blood pressure, kidneys and lung problems; shoulder, lower back,
knee, ankle injury.
Benefits – improves balance, stretches shoulders and chest; strengthens legs, ankles;
stretches thighs, groins, abdomen; stimulates blood circulation of the pelvic region.
Sitting
7. Svastikasana – Auspicious Pose
Contraindications – inflammation lower back; serious knee and ankle injury, hip problems;
strong headache; heart problems.
Benefits – calms the brain; strengthens the back; stimulates the pelvis, spine, abdomen;
stretches knees, ankles.
8. Virasana – Hero Pose
Contraindications – heart problems; serious knee and ankle injury; those who have varicose
veins should keep asana no more than 40 seconds.
Benefits – stretches thighs, knees, ankles; strengthens the arches; improves digestion;
therapeutic for high blood pressure and asthma.
9. Ardha Padmasana – Half Lotus
Contraindications –serious knee and ankle injury; lumborsacral radiculitis.
Benefits – calms the brain; stimulates the pelvis, spine, abdomen; stretches knees, ankles;
10. Mandukasana – Frog Pose
Contraindications – serious groin, knee and ankle injury.
Benefits – increases the flexibility of the hips, ankles, knees; stretches the quadriceps, inner
thigh and groin, increases circulation to all organs of the pelvis.
11. Baddha Konasana – Bound Angle Pose
Contraindications – serious knee and ankle injury.
Benefits – stimulates abdominal organs, ovaries, prostate gland, bladder and kidneys;
stimulates the heart and improves general circulation; stretches the inner thighs, groins and
knees; helps relieve depression, anxiety and fatigue; therapeutic for flat feet, high blood
pressure and asthma.
12. Yoga Mudra (in Sukhasana) – Symbol of Yoga
Contraindications – serious shoulder, wrist, knee and ankle injury.
Benefits –stimulates digestive organs, stretches lower spine, increases flexibility of sacral
joints and beneficial for constipation.
13. Gomukhasana – Cow Face Pose
Contraindications – serious shoulder, knee and ankle injury.
Benefits – stretches the ankles, hips and thighs, shoulders, armpits triceps and chest; opens
upper chest; restores the circulation the pelvic; improves posture; therapeutic for cramp of
calves and hips.
Backward Bending
14. Bhujangasana – Cobra
Contraindications – eye pressure, retinal problems; heart and neck problems; menstruating
women; pregnancy; hernia; serious lower back injury; after abdominal operations; those
with high blood pressure should be cautious.
Benefits – strengthens the spine, stretches chest, lungs, shoulders and abdomen;
stimulates abdominal organs; helps relieve stress and fatigue; opens heart, lungs; improves
posture; therapeutic for asthma.
15. Ardha Salabhasana – Half Locust
Contraindications – headache; serious lower back injury; pregnancy, menstruating women;
after abdominal operations;
Benefits – strengthens the muscles of the spine; stimulates abdominal organs.
16. Navasana – Boat Pose
Contraindications – headache; serious lower back, shoulders injury; pregnancy,
menstruating women; after abdominal operations;
Benefits – strengthens the muscles of the spine, buttocks, back arms and legs; stimulates
abdominal organs, helps relieve stress.
17. Dhanurasana – Bow Pose
Contraindications – headache; high or low blood pressure; serious lower back, shoulders
and neck injury; stomach ulcer; pregnancy, menstruating women; after abdominal
operations; insomnia.
Benefits – stretches entire front of the body, thighs, groins, ankles, abdomen, chest and
throat; strengthens the muscles of the spine; stimulates endocrine system, abdominal
organs; improves posture.
18. Ardha Matsyasana – Half Fish Pose
Contraindications – serious neck, lower back injury; headache; high or low blood pressure;
insomnia.
Benefits – stretches the muscles of the belly and front of the back, stimulates abdominal
organs and throat; strengthens the muscles of the upper back and back of the neck; opens
upper chest and lungs; stimulates endocrine system, abdominal organs; improves posture,
therapeutic for asthma, cold, scoliosis.
19. Katikasana/ Purvottanasana – Upward Plank Pose
Contraindications –carpal tunnel syndrome, high blood pressure, heart condition.
Benefits – strengthens the arms, wrists; opens the upper chest; strengthens legs, front
ankles and abdominal muscles.
Forward Bending
20. Janu Sirsasana – Head-to-Knee
Contraindications – asthma, serious lower back and knee injury.
Benefits – calms the brain, relieves stress and depression; stretches the spine, shoulders,
hamstrings and groins; stimulates the liver, kidneys; improves digestion; helps relieve the
symptoms of menopause and menses; relieves headache, anxiety and fatigue; therapeutic
for high blood pressure, insomnia and sinusitis.
21. Pascimottanasana – Posterior stretch/ Intense Stretch of the West
Contraindications – asthma, pregnancy, serious lower back injury.
Benefits – calms the brain, relieves stress and depression; stretches the spine, shoulders,
hamstrings; stimulates the liver, kidneys, ovaries; improves digestion; helps relieve the
symptoms of menopause and menses; soothes headache and anxiety, reduces fatigue;
reduces obesity; therapeutic for high blood pressure, insomnia and sinusitis.
Twisting
22. Ardha Matsyandrasana - Half Spinal Twist
Contraindications – eye pressure, retinal problems; heart and neck problems; menstruating
women; pregnancy; hernia; serious lower back, knee and ankle injury; after abdominal
operation;
Benefits – stimulates the liver and kidneys, digestive fire in the belly; stretches the hips,
shoulders and neck; energizes the spine; therapeutic for asthma.
Fire Series
23. Single and double leg lifts
Contraindications – asthma; heart problems; insomnia; menstruating women; pregnancy;
after abdominal operation; hips problems, sciatica.
Benefits – strengthens the abdomen, hip flexors and spine; strengthens legs, front ankles
and abdominal muscles.
24. Utthita Hastapadasana/ Paripurna Navasana – Boat Pose
Contraindications – menstruating women; pregnancy; serious low back pain; asthma; low
blood pressure; heart and neck problems (in case of neck injury try to use wall as support);
insomnia; hernia of esophagus; after abdominal operation. Those with weak muscles should
reduce time of holding asana.
Benefits – strengthens the abdomen, hip flexors and spine; stimulates the kidneys,
improves digestion , thyroid and prostate glands and intestines; helps relieve stress;.
Inverted
25. Ardha Halasana – Half Plow
Contraindications – asthma; high blood pressure; heart and neck problems (in case of neck
injury use blanket as support); spleen and thyroid glands problems; sinusitis; otitis; eye
problems; menstruating women; pregnancy; don’t recommended children till 12.
Benefits – calms brain; reduces stress and fatigue; stimulates the abdominal organs,
stretches the shoulders and spine; helps relieve symptoms of menses.
26. Setu Bandhasana – Bridge Pose
Contraindications – neck injury; knee problems.
Benefits – calms brain; reduces stress, fatigue, anxiety, backache, headache, and insomnia;
stimulates the abdominal organs, lungs and thyroid; improves digestion; stretches the
chest, neck and spine; relieves menstrual discomfort when done supported; rejuvenates
tired legs; therapeutic for asthma, high blood pressure, osteoporosis, and sinusitis.
27. Viparita Karani asana – Half Shoulder Stand
Contraindications – eye pressure, retinal problems; heart problems; menstruating women;
chronic maxillary sinusitis; otitis; spine and neck injury; those with high blood pressure
should be cautious.
Benefits – rejuvenates whole structure; balances the neuroendocrine system; reduces water
retention in the legs; facilitates deep breathing; strengthens diaphragm; reduces fatigue
and depression; calms the brain; stretches the shoulders and neck; improves digestion and
circulation the brain; therapeutic for varicosity, hemorrhoids .
28. Adho Mukha Svanasana – Downward Facing Dog
Contraindications – carpal tunnel syndrome; high blood pressure; headache; diarrhea; spine
and back side thighs injury; the third term of pregnancy.
Benefits – calms brain; reduces headache, stress, fatigue and insomnia; energizes body;
stretches the shoulders, hamstrings, calves, arches, and hands; strengthens the arms and
legs; relieves back pain; improves digestion; helps prevent osteoporosis; relieves menstrual
discomfort when done with head supported; therapeutic for high blood pressure, asthma,
flat feet, sciatica, sinusitis.
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