Seal Pose Yoga

(July 2, 2010)

How To Perform Great Seal Pose?

The Seal Pose in yoga is performed lying down on the floor. It is a variation of the Cobra Pose (Bhujangasana) and is a relatively easy pose and is quite relaxing. It is so called, because the upper body is raised at a 45 degree angle from the floor, with the legs stretched out behind, so that the person looks rather like a seal.

There is another more difficult pose in yoga which is called the Great Seal Pose. This is a forward bend, and is linked to the Maha Mudras (or actions).

How to perform:
Sit on the yoga mat on the floor. Sit straight in the Staff Yoga Pose (Dandasana). Extend both your legs fully in front of you. Your arms should hang comfortably by your side.

Now, bend your left knee and draw the heel of your left foot into your left groin. Twist your foot in such a way that the top of the left foot touches the floor. In the initial stages, you may not be able to achieve this, but just ensure that your foot is positioned at this angle. Your right leg should remain extended fully in front of you.

Twist your torso slightly so that it is turned to the right and faces your right leg. Now, bend forward from the hips. Leaning forward, reach your hands out and over your right leg. Stretch the muscles of the arm from the tips of the fingers to the shoulders, and also elongate your spine as much as possible.

Now, grab the big toe of your right foot with both hands. Inhale, and lift your upper body, rolling the shoulders back slightly to help open up the chest. Allow your head to fall forward, thus lengthening the spine neck downward.

Hold this position for 20 to 40 seconds. Exhale and come back to the Staff Yoga Pose. Rest and repeat with the other side of the body.

If you are a beginner, you may find it more comfortable to place a folded blanket or a pillow under your knee to give it better support.

Benefits: The Great Seal Pose has many benefits. It provides a good stretch to the legs, shoulders and spine, strengthening the muscles in these areas and improving their flexibility. All the muscles of the neck and back get toned, providing relief from sciatica, slipped disc and many other back or hip problems. It requires concentration and helps to calm the mind. It also tones the muscles of the abdominal region, aiding better digestion and elimination of waste. It also helps to correct problems such as obstruction of the bowels.

Submitted by A on July 2, 2010 at 07:29

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