Finding space is not always easy – sometimes you have to strive for it like a warrior. Standing steadily in Viparita Viranhasrasana, the sanskrit name for Peaceful Warrior Pose or Reverse Warrior Pose, your legs are spread apart with your front knee bent and your back foot fully rooted to the ground. Arch your torso back fully extending one arm and resting your other hand on your back leg. With your lower body leaning forward while your upper body leans back, you embody the physical process of give and take – of balance seeking. Finding peace often entails finding a balance the aggressive and receptive parts of ourselves. Be a warrior for peace. Be firm in your resolve and open to receive.
Downward Dog Pose, Downward-facing Dog Pose,] or Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Sanskrit: अधोमुखश्वानासन; IAST: Adho Mukha Śvānāsana), is an inversion asana in modern yoga as exercise, often practised as part of a flowing sequence of poses, especially Surya Namaskar, the Salute to the Sun The asana does not have formally named variations, but several playful variants are used to assist beginning practitioners to become comfortable in the pose.
Downward Dog stretches the hamstring and calf muscles in the backs of the legs, and builds strength in the shoulders. Some popular sites have advised against it during pregnancy, but an experimental study of pregnant women found it beneficial.
Downward Dog has been called “deservedly one of yoga’s most widely recognized yoga poses” and the “quintessential yoga pose”. As such it is often the asana of choice when yoga is depicted in film, literature, and advertising. The pose has frequently appeared in Western culture, including in the titles of novels, a painting, and a television series, and it is implied in the name, YOGΛ, of a foldable computer.
History of Downward Facing Dog
The name comes from the pose’s similarity to the way a dog stretches when getting up. The Sanskrit name is from adhas (अधस्) meaning “down”, mukha (मुख) meaning “face”, śvāna (श्वान) meaning “dog”, and āsana (आसन) meaning “posture” or “seat”.
The name is not found in the medieval hatha yoga texts, but a similar posture, Gajāsana (Elephant Pose), was described in the 18th century Hațhābhyāsapaddhati; the text calls for it to be repeated “over and over again” from a prone position.
The pose has the head down, ultimately touching the floor, with the weight of the body on the palms and the feet. The arms are stretched straight forward, shoulder width apart; the feet are a foot apart, the legs are straight, and the hips are raised as high as possible.
The pose is approached differently in different schools of yoga. In Iyengar Yoga, the pose can be entered from a prone position, with the hands beside the chest, setting the distance between hands and feet. In schools such as Sivananda Yoga, the pose is practised as part of Surya Namaskar, the Salute to the Sun, for example following Urdhva Mukha Shvanasana (Upward Dog Pose) by exhaling, curling the toes under, and raising the hips. In the Bihar School of Yoga, the pose is named Parvatasana, Mountain Pose, the hands and feet somewhat closer to each other so that the angle at the hips is sharper; it is entered from a lunge (Ashwa Sanchalanasana) in a variant of Surya Namaskar. (wiki)
Benefits of the Pose
Strengthens hands, wrists, low-back, hamstrings, calves and Achilles tendon
A great stretch for your feet, hamstrings, calf muscles, and biceps
Opens and strengthens shoulders
Strengthens triceps and bicep
Helps you connect to your core.
Can be calming after strenuous poses
Strengthen quads, hip flexors, and knee joint
Increased full-body circulation
Decreases back pain by strengthening the entire back and shoulder girdle
Elongated shoulders and shoulder blade area
Decrease in tension and headaches by elongating the cervical spine and neck and relaxing the head
The name comes from the Sanskrit words vṛkṣa (वृक्ष) meaning “tree”, and āsana (आसन) meaning “posture”.
History of Tree Pose
A 7th-century stone carving in Mahabalipuram appears to contain a figure standing on one leg, perhaps indicating that a pose similar to vrikshasana was in use at that time. It is said that sadhus disciplined themselves by choosing to meditate in the pose.
The pose is described in the 17th century Gheraṇḍa Saṃhitā.
Description of Tree Pose
From Tadasana, weight is shifted to one leg, for example, starting with the left leg. The entire sole of the foot remains in contact with the floor. The right knee is bent and the right foot placed on the left inner thigh, or in half lotus position. In either foot placement, the hips should be open, with the bent knee pointing towards the side. With the toes of the right foot pointing directly down, the left foot, center of the pelvis, shoulders and head are all vertically aligned. Hands are typically held above the head either pointed directly upwards and unclasped, or clasped together in anjali mudra. The asana is typically held for 20 to 60 seconds, returning to tadasana while exhaling, then repeating standing on the opposite leg.
Benefits of Tree Pose (Vrikshasana)
Improves balance and stability in the legs.
Strengthens the ligaments and tendon of the feet.
Strengthens and tones the entire standing leg, up to the buttocks.
Assists the body in establishing pelvic stability.
Strengthen the bones of the hips and legs due to the weight-bearing nature of the pose.