Finishing Poses in Yoga
Shava Asana (Corpse Pose)
This is a classic relaxation pose practiced before or in between Asanas.
Lie down face up with feet 18 inches apart and palms up, hands distanced 6 inches from the sides. Feel easy in the pose by ensuring the body is symmetrical. Keep the thighs, knees and toes turn outward and then close the eyes and breathe deeply.
Pranayama (Yoga Breathing)
Breathing is one of the most important functions in the body. It is also one of the fove principles of Yoga. The proper breathing, according to Yoga, provides more oxygen to the blood and brain and controls the vital life energy (prana). Pranayama is the science of breath control which has series of exercises, all directed towards the upkeep of the body in good health and to ward off ailments. Pranayama is part and parcel of Asanas. Both Pranayama and Asanas do highest purification jobs and provide self-discipline for both mind and body. Pranayama makes the mind calm and alert. Some sort of breathing exercises helps remove excess mucus in the body which in turn controls respiratory ailments like bronchitis and asthma.
Yoga breathing is done sitting down with the spine, neck and head in a straight line.
Kapalabhati is one of the six purification practices (Kriyas) and is a breathing technique aimed at cleansing. If tension or blockages felt in the chest it is due to excess mucus in the air passage. In many cases, quick breathing provides relief. In this case breathe fast, using only abdominal breathing and no chest breathing. Short, rapid and strong breathing is the peculiarity of the Kapalabhati. In this, lungs are used as a pump, exerting maximum pressure to expel the air so as to remove the waste from the air passages – from lungs up through the nostrils. Kapalabhati is good for heavy head or foggy in the head and also for problems connected with sinuses and the feeling of numbness around the eyes.
Kapalabhati and Bastrika breathing techniques provide more or less the same results. These breathing techniques should be exploited very carefully as there is some danger of creation of tension in the breath. If rapidly breathed, there is the possibility of becoming dizzy. To avoid this, conclude with slow breathing. Do not breathe rapidly many times. After few rapid breaths, have more slow breaths.
One round of Kapalbhati: First have two normal breaths. Inhale and then exhale by pulling in the abdomen. Repeat twenty times by keeping steady rhythm with emphasis on exhalation each time. Thereafter, inhale and exhale completely and then inhale fully and hold the breath to the maximum extent possible. Then exhale slowly.
It is alternate nostril breathing technique. Inhale through one nostril. Retain the breath and then exhale through the other nostril in a ratio of 2:8:4. The left nostril is the path of the Nadi called Ida while the right nostril is the path of Nadi called Pingala. A healthy person breathes through the Ida about one hour and fifty minutes and then through the Pingala. Restoring, equalizing and balancing the Prana flow in the body are done by Anuloma-Viloma.
One round of Anuloma: Viloma consists of six steps as explained in ‘One Round of Anuloma Viloma’. Start practicing three rounds and increase slowly to 20 rounds, extending the count within the given ratio here above.
The Vishnu Mudra: In Anuloma Viloma, Vishnu Mudra is adopted. In this, right hand is used to close the nostrils. Tuck the index and middle fingers. Place the thumb on right nostril, little and ring fingers on the left. Thereafter follow as under:
1 Inhale through the left nostril after closing the right nostril with the thumb, to the count of four.
2. Hold the breath after closing both the nostrils, to the count of sixteen.
3. Exhale through the right nostril after closing the left nostril with little and ring fingers, to the count of eight.
4. Inhale through the right nostril after closing the left nostril with the little and ring finger, to the count of four.
5. Hold the breath after closing both the nostrils, to the count of sixteen.
6. Exhale through the left nostril after keeping the right nostril closed with the thum, to the count of eight.
Bnefits of Anuloma Viloma
Anuloma Viloma exercise results in maximum function to both sides of the brain, maximum creativity and maximum logical verbal activity. The left side of the brain makes logical thinking while the right side of the brain makes creative thinking. The optimization of the functions of the brain gives more and more good results, leading to calm the mind and the nervous system.