The most important element of this posture is the compression of the front side of the body, namely the throat (massaging the thyroid gland) and the belly (massaging the stomach, liver, pancreas and intestines). The goal is to touch the forehead to the knee, but the most important element is the compression. Whatever depth you attain, compress the throat and belly as much as possible. Don’t be tempted to hold your head with your hand and pull it toward your knee. That defeats the purpose of the posture.
With the front-side compression in this posture, breathing is limited. Keep the breath short. Don’t release the compression of the posture to take deeper breaths. Focus on the exhale, using it to shrink the chest and increase the compression of the belly.
This posture massages the internal organs, intestines and the glands in your throat, improving digestion and helping to balance the endocrine system—a tremendously therapeutic posture. It strengthens the muscles of the abdomen and stretches the muscles on the back of the spine. It stretches and strengthens the hips and legs.
This posture can be remarkably uncomfortable, especially at first. The low belly is an area of the body that is often neglected and weak. This posture tightens and massages the low belly, creating movement in the intestines that can cause nausea. Don’t let the discomfort deter you from earnest practice. This posture is very beneficial and unique to the Ghosh lineage of yoga.
Excerpted from the Ghosh Yoga Practice Manual - Beginning.
Scott & Ida are Yoga Acharyas (Masters of Yoga). They are the head teachers of Ghosh Yoga. This blog is about their experience with yoga practice, study and teaching.
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