Straight from Outrigger Mauritius Beach Resort’s Navasana Spa, Francesca Huet explains the whys and wherewithals of Uttanasana…
To give a little background, the term ‘yoga’ comes from a Sanskrit word meaning ‘union’. Yoga originated in ancient India and is considered one of the longest surviving philosophical systems in the world. Some scholars have estimated that yoga is as old as 5,000 years. Yoga is a life philosophy to join the individual self with what practitioners call the Universal Spirit or Cosmic Consciousness.
Yoga combines physical exercises, mental meditation, and breathing techniques to strengthen the muscles and relieve stress. At the Navasana Spa at the Outrigger Mauritius Beach Resort, we offer free yoga sessions to our guests twice a week.
– The first step is to stand straight, rest your hands on your hips and inhale. Keep your feet shoulder distance apart and parallel to each other. Then exhale, gently soften your knees and bend forward, folding from your hips, to place your chest and stomach on your thighs (if you are a beginner, you can bend your knees slightly, but make sure that they are straight over your toes).
– Slowly begin to straighten out your legs, checking that your chest and abdomen never leave your thighs. To counterbalance the weight of your body, move your hips and tailbone slightly back as the rest of your body moves forward. Keep your knees soft, to allow your buttocks to point up and your hips to move forward into the upper thighs.
– Hang your head down and let your hands rest on the ground, next to your feet. Feel the fold and the stretch from your hip bone. Look through your legs, and try to hold the pose for 30 seconds (don’t forget to gently inhale and exhale holding the pose). If you’re flexible enough, you can hold your heels from behind.
– To finish, contract the core and the abdomen muscles. Inhale and place your hands on the hips, then rise slowly, extend your back and come up to the initial position.
Uttanasana is a simple stretching yoga pose with a variety of therapeutic advantages. It provides the body with a boost of oxygen and helps to rejuvenate and revitalize cells. It is often considered as a basic yoga pose, but it is important to follow the right technique to make sure that hamstrings are stretched and that you don’t injure your back.
Physical benefits of Uttanasana include massaging your kidneys and liver. It gives strength to the knees as well as the spine and is beneficial for flexibility of the hips. It improves the process of blood circulation and helps to improves posture and alignment. It’s also perfect for stretching the leg muscles, the pose improves the functions of nervous system while helping cellular growth. The bend gives your digestive organs a good massage, so it improves digestion.
Note that this is a pose recommended if you have high blood pressure, asthma, infertility, sinusitis, and osteoporosis.
Uttanasana also helps to calm the mind and relieve anxiety. It aids a quiet the mind, and also relieve headaches and insomnia.
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