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Oordhwaoordhwap (Headstand, Lotus Pose)
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Variation 1 : After securing the balance in the headstand, advanced students take up this exercise to bring maximum flexibility to the ankle, knee and hip joints.

Before trying to do this exercise, one should be able to sit in the lotus pose. The technique and benefits are the same as for the headstand. However, here we go further and while standing on the head, we lock the legs on padmasan or lotus pose. Do not attempt to start the headstand while sitting in padmasan.

There are three variations of this exercise to stretch the lumbar and sacral vertebrae and their ligaments. The lumbar and sacral parts of the vertebral column are twisted to both sides and bent. This is to be repeated at least three times. It will strengthen the ligaments and the vertebral column.

Variation 2 : Twisting of the spine in both directions should be practiced by advanced students. Generally we twist our bodies while sitting or standing. But in this pose the lumbar region is naturally relaxed, and therefore free rotation of the spine is possible.

Oordhwapadmasana Oordhwapadmasana
Oordhwapadmasana Oordhwapadmasana

Variation 3 And 4 : To complete the movement in oordhwapadmasan, the knees should be brought down, without unlocking the lotus pose, and touch the armpit. When the arms are kept separated the knees can be rested on the arms.

This exercise is similar to the headstand. In headstand, circulation and concentration are directed to the brain, but in shoulderstand the concentration and circulation are directed to the thyroid and parathyroid. We have seen in previous chapters what effect the thyroid and parathyroid secretions have on the body. The thyroid is the most important gland of the endocrine system, and this exercise gives it a rich supply of blood. Again it stretches the deltoids, supraspinatus, and infraspinatus of the shoulder muscles. The chin lock by the chin on the chest exerts an extra pressure on the thyroid through which its secretions are kept at par. This asana is a good substitute for modern thyroid treatment. The ligaments of the cervical region are especially stretched in this exercise

There are many variations of the shoulderstand to increase the circulation and stretch various ligaments and muscles. Sarvanga means all parts, so the very name suggests that this pose is concerned with all parts of the body. It will also give a helping hand for persons with varicose veins.

Fifteen minutes is the maximum for this pose; starting time for beginners is one minute. Breathe normally through the nose. Some persons practice this for half and hour.

Oordhwapadmasana
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