Ashwa Sanchalanasana: Yoga for legs and lower body

By Atul Vyas

The Sun symbolizes light, purity, and consciousness. Salutation to Sun imparts power and radiance.

One day while doing Sun salutation, I asked my late mother Daya Vyas – world-famous, first lady yoga Guru of India, first postgraduate woman of the state of Rajasthan, and professor of economics, why worship sun? Sun, to me, was not a living entity without consciousness – a celestial body like any other.

She replied, “Sun is an important part of universal or cosmic consciousness. The scientists found a celestial phenomenon in which the galaxies and planets pull away from each other increasing the space between them. It happens due to an explosion from the dense center of the universe, which causes expansion of the universe.”

“This expansion stops after some time and contraction of the universe begins in which all planets, stars, and galaxies are pulled back to the dense center which would explode again in due course of time, this is a continuous and repetitive process,” she explained.

According to yogic philosophy, this process of alternate expansion and contraction of the universe is nothing but celestial inhalation and exhalation or part of cosmic breathing. Breathing is the sign of life and that is why Sun and other planets are living bodies.

“It is always difficult to have faith in some abstract figure named God but is always easy to have faith and worship something which is physical, that is why Sun is worshipped,” She said.

The eighth pose of Sun Salutation is again Ashwa Sanchalanasana or Equestrian pose but with a different leg forward than in the earlier pose.

Technique:

  • Moving from mountain pose bring forward your right leg putting it between your hands and your right knee above the right ankle
  • Lower your left knee to the ground and stretch it backward
  • Try to keep hands flat on the mat
  • Look up and extend your neck and upper back
  • Breathe normally

Benefits:

  • Pressure on the thighs stimulates the digestive organs
  • Leg and back muscles are strengthened
  • The Anahata chakra, solar plexus, and Manipur chakra are balanced
  • The motion provides a stretch to abductors which are also hip flexors and external rotators, stretching them promotes hip mobility
  • Releases pressure on the lumbar spine

(The author likes to be called a “Yoga Scientist.” He is a celebrity yoga trainer and has trained several top Hollywood and Bollywood stars. He has trained for years under many eminent yoga gurus including his illustrious mother Daya Vyas, the first lady yoga guru of India.)

Images courtesy of (Image Courtesy: Yogaholism) and Provided

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