500 hour hatha yoga teacher training programBy Amruta Kulkarni, CYT 250

Some Yoga teacher training courses focus on asana as a physical exercise.  This is a shame because asana is much more than an exercise for the body.  Asana has therapeutic value and it is a means toward Samadhi as described by Patanjali.

Asanas or postures in Hatha yoga help realign the body by stretching and lengthening every part of the body in a relaxed manner. By doing so, the body is brought back to alignment, healed and stimulated as needed. The philosophy behind Asanas are also holistic for it looks at the body as an interconnected part of a whole process and aims to purify and strengthen the organ, tissues, fibers, muscles, bones and the cells of the body.

Asanas are mind and body postures, through which we build strength inside our body. Blood and energy open gradually, and allow the organs to absorb fresh healing blood and energy. When a part of the body is affected by disease, it loses its sensitivity. During the practice of specifically therapeutic Asanas, energy from within the body flows directly to the troubled area and causes the healing process to begin.

Yoga is a psycho-physical-spiritual therapy that aims to perfect the mind and body as one unit to develop Realization of our True Self.  Viparita Karani (inverted lake posture) has many healing benefits and is an extremely mild inverted asana.  Below are instructions for using props while practicing this wonderful posture.

1.Place the blocks on its long side against and parallel to the wall. Place the bolster, one behind the other, parallel to the block. Drape the blanket over all 3 props. Then sit sideways in the middle of the bolsters, and place your fingers flat on the floor behind you.

2.Turn your torso toward the wall, simultaneously lifting your lets, one by one, onto the wall. Keep your knees slightly bent. Support your body on both palms, fingers pointing toward the bolsters. Push both palms down on the floor, and move your buttocks closer to the wall.

3.Bend your elbows and lower your torso until your shoulders rest on the floor. Fully straighten your legs, but please don’t lock them. If your buttocks have moved away from the wall, bend your knees and place both feet against the wall. Then press your palms down onto the floor, lift your hips, and move the buttocks closer to the wall. Straighten your legs.

4.Rest your head and neck on the floor. Loft your chest. Spread your arms out to he sides, palms facing the ceiling. Allow your chest, abdomen, and pelvis to expand and relax. Straighten and stretch your legs. Close your eyes and experience the serenity of the posture. Stay in the posture for 1-2 minutes.  Gradually increase the duration to 3-6 minutes depending on the amount of tingling you feel in your feet.

Just by practicing Viparita Karani, pranayama and meditation the Yoga practitioner heals mind, body, and spirit.

© Copyright 2011 – Amruta Kulkarni / Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division

Amruta Kulkarni is a certified Yoga teacher and an exclusive author for Aura Wellness Center.

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