VYAGHRASANA (TIGER POSE). Part I

This asana is so called because it emulates the stretching movement made by a tiger. A tiger, as well as various other animals, stretches its limbs generously and indulgently in a similar manner to the movements of the asana, especially after awakening from deep sleep.

Vyaghrasana is an excellent asana for exercising the digestive, eliminative and reproductive organs and the entire spine from top to bottom.

Technique

Kneel on the floor, feet and knees slightly separated. Lean forwards and place both hands flat on the floor, palms downwards. Adjust the position of the hands so that they are slightly apart and when your trunk is parallel with the ground the arms and thighs are vertical. The hands should be directly below the shoulders. Relax your whole body.

Slowly bend the right leg and swing the thigh up to the chest. Simultaneously arch your back upwards and bend your head towards the upcoming knee while breathing out. The right foot should not touch the floor. At the end of this movement try to bring your chin or nose in contact with the right knee while pressing the right thigh against the chest. Fix your eyes on the knee for a second or so. Hold your breath. Then while inhaling slowly move your right knee backwards again. Don’t lower your knee to the ground, but continue the swinging movement so that the knee moves backwards and upwards behind the body, keeping the right foot off the ground. Simultaneously progressively stretch the right leg so that it is eventually straight and pointing away from the arms. Then bend your right knee so that the right foot finally points in the direction of the back of the head.

From the position shown in figure 1 to the present position, the head should be slowly bent backwards and the spine arched downwards to attain the position in figure 2. Try to bring the back of the head as near as possible to the right toes. Hold your breath in this position for a short period. Continue to hold your breath and straighten your right leg so that it points backwards again. Exhale while bending the right leg and returning to the position shown in figure 1. This is 1 round. Do a few more rounds. Then perform the same actions with the left leg, keeping the right leg fixed on the ground.

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