Breathing, awareness and duration
Exhale while bringing the knee and thigh towards the chest. Hold the breath while pressing the thigh to the chest and the knee to the chin or nose. Inhale while swinging the knee backwards and stretching the leg. Hold the breath and simultaneously bend the leg so that the foot points to the back of the head. Hold this pose for a short period of time.
Awareness should be on the physical movement and the breathing pattern. Repeat this asana five times with each leg.
Time of practice
This asana can be done at almost any time of the day except after meals and at any stage during your asana program.
However, if you feel like imitating the animals, and in many ways we have a lot to learn from them, try doing this asana on waking up in the morning. It is a useful practice for stretching the muscles and stimulating the blood circulation.
Vyaghrasana flexes and loosens the entire spine by bending it alternately in both directions – backwards and forwards. It thereby tones the associated spinal nerves.
As we have already indicated, it also massages the lower organs of the body concerned with digestion, elimination and reproduction. It loosens up the legs and generally prepares the body for normal functioning, especially after sleep.
Women who suffer from sexual ailments like leucorrhoea should do this asana on a regular basis. It is very helpful, especially when supplemented by other asanas, in rectifying this type of problem. Women who have just completed childbirth should also do this asana to bring about normality and firmness in the relevant areas. Sufferers of sciatica have obtained some relief from the asana, but one should be careful.