Carefully bend backward, supporting the body with the arms and elbows. Lift the chest slightly, take the head back and lower the crown of the head to the floor.
Hold the big toes and rest the elbows on the floor.
Adjust the position of the head so that the maximum arch of the back is attained.
Relax the arms and the whole body, allowing the head, buttocks and legs to support the weight of the body.
Close the eyes and breathe slowly and deeply.
Return to the starting position, reversing the order of movements.
Repeat the asana, with the legs crossed the other way.
Breathing:Breathe deeply and slowly in the final position.
Duration:The final position may be held for up to 5 minutes, although 1 to 3 minutes is sufficient for general health.
Awareness: Physical – on the abdomen, chest, neck and head or breath.
Sequence: Halasana or Sarvangasana are the ideal counter poses as they stretch the neck in the opposite direction, releasing any muscular tension.
Contra-indications: People who suffer from heart disease, peptic ulcers, hernia, back conditions or any serious illness should not practise this asana. Pregnant women should also not attempt it.
Benefits:This asana stretches the intestines and abdominal organs and is useful for all abdominal ailments. To remove constipation, drink 3 glasses of water and then perform this asana. It also relieves inflamed and bleeding piles.
This practice is very good for asthma and bronchitis as it encourages deep respiration. It recirculates stagnant blood in the back, alleviating backache. It regulates the function of the thyroid gland and stimulates the thymus gland, boosting the immune system.
The pelvic region is given a good stretch and the pressure of the feet on the thighs greatly reduces blood circulation in the legs, diverting it to the pelvic organs. Youthfulness and vitality are increased.