Asana of the Month

Asana of The Month: Heavenly Spirits (valakhilyasana)

A0068-LD-010503-153Heavenly Spirits (valakhilyasana) provides more of an upper body and hip stretch than pigeon pose. It improves flexibility and upper body circulation while improving focus and reducing mild anxiety and depression.

English Name: Heavenly Spirits

Sanskrit Name: Valakhilyasana

Difficulty Level: 7

Start Position: One-Legged King of Pigeon Pose

Instructions:

Step 1.

Use both hands to grab your leg.

Step 2.

Extend your leg towards the floor as far as it feels comfortable arching your back to maintain a leg hold about midway between your knee and ankle.

Step 3.

Breath normally and hold the pose as long as it feels comfortable. Release your leg and straighten your back. Repeat on the other side.

Gentle Variation

Place a strap around your leg using both hands to hold the strap as you lower your leg.

Physical Benefits:

  • Increased energy
  • Opens up the hips, thighs, chest & shoulders
  • Improved low back and abdominal circulation
  • Improve digestion
  • Reduced menstrual and menopausal discomfort

Mental Benefits

  • Reduces anxiety and stress
  • Improves focus
  • Reduce mild depression

Contraindications:

  • Hip or knee injury
  • Back or shoulder injury (try gentle variation)
  • Arthritis (try gentle variation)

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