Paschimottanasana

    Paschimottanasana - Introduction, Procedure and Benefits

    Introduction

    The Paschimottanasana word is derived from Paschima meaning posterior or back or west and the word Uttana means to stretch that’s why this Asana is known as ‘The back stretching pose’.  Paschimottanasana evenly and intensely stretches the calf muscles. This Asana has various health benefits and is very famous for increasing height. It Is very good for growing children. If you are suffering from Tamaka Shwasa (Asthma) then avoid this Asana.

    Hath Yoga Pradipika, Pratham Updesha, 28

    प्रसार्य पादौ भुवि दण्डरूपौ दोभार्यां पादग्र द्वितयं गृहीत्वा । 

    जानूपरिन्यस्तललाटदेशो वसेद्‌ इद॑ पश्चिमतानमाहु: ।। 

     

    पश्चिमतान आसन- दोनों पैरों को दण्ड के समान सीधा पसार कर, दोनों पैरों के अग्रभाग (अंगूठों) को पकड़ कर, तथा दोनों जानुओं (घुटनों) पर अपना ललाट रख कर जो आसन लगाया जाय उस को पश्चिमतान आसन कहते हैं। 

     

    As per Hath Yoga Pradipika, Keep knees straight and forehead on the knees, hands on toes in a sitting position.

     

    Benefits of Paschimottanasana as per classical texts:

     

    Hath Yoga Pradipika, Pratham Updesha, 29

     

    इति पश्चिमतानमासनाग्य्र॑ पवन पश्चिमबाहिनं करोति।

    उदयम जठरानलस्य कुर्याद्‌ उदरे कार्श्यमरोगतां च कुर्यात्‌ ||

     

    पश्चिमतान आसन के लाभ- यह श्रेष्ठ पश्चिमतान आसन शरीर की वायु को पश्चिम (सुषुम्ना) मार्ग से प्रवाहित करने लगता है। इसके परिणामस्वरूप, उदरकी पाचकाग्नि में तीव्रता आ जाती है। उदर में कृशता (पतलापन, स्थौल्याभाव) ला देता है। तथा ऐसे योगाभ्यासियों का शरीर नीरोग (स्वस्थ) रहने लगता है।।

     

    This best Paschimottanasana allows the air of the body to flow through the west (Sushumna) path. As a result, the digestion of the stomach gets intensified. Brings soreness (thinness, stoutness) in the abdomen. And the body of such yoga practitioners remains Nirog (healthy).

     

    Gheranda Samhita, Dwitya Updesha, 24

     

    प्रसार्य पादौ भूवि दण्डरूपौ संन्यस्तभालश्वितियुग्ममध्ये। 

    यत्नेन पादौ च धृती कराभ्यां योगीन्द्रपीठं पश्चिमोत्तानमाहुः।। 

     

    भूतल पर अपने दोनों पैरों को दण्डवत्‌ अर्थात्‌ सीधी अवस्था में रखकर दोनों हाथों से प्रयल्पूर्वक उन दौनों पैरों को पकड़ते हुये दोनों घुटनों के मध्य में शिर को स्थापित कर स्थिर भाव से अवस्थित होने की ही योगिश्रेष्ठों ने ‘पश्चिमोत्तानासन’ के नाम से अभिहित किया है। 

     

    Keeping both the feet in a straight position on the ground floor, holding them with both hands effortlessly, establishing the head in the middle of both the knees, the Yogi Shreshthas (Yoga best practitioner) have named it by the name of ‘Paschimottanasana’.

     

    पश्चिमोत्तानासन को ही अन्य संहिताओं में उग्रासन के नाम से कहा गया है। इस उग्रासन को करने की विधि इस प्रकार कहीं गई है- (Shiva Samhita)

     

    विस्तीर्य पादयुगलं परस्परमसंयुत्तम्‌।

    स्वहस्ताभ्यां दृढं धृत्वा जानूपरि शिरो न्यसेत्‌।। 

    उग्रासनमिदं प्रोकत॑ भवेदनिलदीपनम्‌। 

    देहावसादनाशनं पश्चिमोत्तानसंज्ञकम्‌।। 

    य एतदासनं श्रेष्ठ प्रत्यहं साधयेत्‌: सुधी: ।

    वायु: पश्चिममार्गेण तस्य चरति निश्चितम्‌।।

    एतदभ्यासिकानाञ्च सवसिद्धिश्च जायते। 

    तस्मादयोगी यत्नतो वै साधयेत्सिद्धिदायक:।। 

    गोपनीयं प्रयत्नेन न देय यस्य कस्यचित्‌।

    येन शीघ्र॑ मरुत्सिद्धिर्भवेदु:खौघहारिणी ।।

     

    तात्पर्य यह हैं कि दोनों पैरों को परस्पर असंयुक्त रूप से अर्थात्एकदूसरे से सटाये  विना प्रसारितकर उन्हें दोनों हाथों से दृढ़तापूर्वक पकड़ कर अपने शिरोभाग को दोनों जानुओं के मध्य में विन्यस्त करने की क्रिया कोउग्रासनके नाम से जाना जाता है। इसका अपर नामपश्चिमोत्तानासनभी है। इस उग्रासन के अभ्यास से जठराग्नि प्रवर्द्धित होने के साथसाथ शरीर की अवसन्नता  भी समाप्त होती है। जो विद्वान साधक नित्यप्रति इस आसन का अभ्यास करते हैं, उनकी शरीरस्थ वायु पश्चिम की ओर प्रवाहित होती हैं, यह ध्रुव सत्य है। इसके अभ्यास से साधक समस्त सिद्धियाँ अवाप्त करता है।  अत: योगियों को प्रयत्न पूर्वक इसका अभ्यास करना चाहिये। यह अत्यन्त ही गोपनीय होने के कारण यत्रतत्र प्रकोश्य नहीं है। इसके सम्यक्अभ्यास के फलस्वरूप वायु अर्थात्प्राणायाम  की सिद्धि होती है, जिसके परिणामस्वरूप यह साधक के दु:खरूप समुद्र का हरण करने वाला है।

     

    This means that the process of arranging the head between the two Knees by holding them firmly with both hands by spreading both legs together i.e., without being adjacent to each other is known as “Ugrasana” (powerful or Fierce pose). Its additional name is also ‘Paschimottanasana’. By the practice of this Ugrasana, along with increasing the gastric fire, the restlessness of the body also ends. The learned seekers practice this asana regularly, their physical air flows towards the west, this is the universal truth. By its practice, the seeker attains all the Siddhis. Therefore, yogis should practice it diligently. Because it is very secretive, it is not available anywhere. As a result of its right practice, there is the accomplishment of air i.e., pranayama, as a result of which it takes the sorrow of the ocean away from the seeker.     

    Dr. Sahil Gupta

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    – Dr. Sahil Gupta (B.A.M.S., M.H.A.)

    Ayurvedic Allergy Specialist
    CEO & Founder of IAFA®

    Procedure : How to perform Paschimottanasana

    • Sit on the floor with the legs stretched out in front of the body.
    • Place your hands on the knees, palms facing downwards. Relax the whole body, especially the back muscles.
    • Breathe in deeply. Then, while exhaling, slowly bend your head and trunk forwards. As you move forwards, slide your hands along the legs towards the feet.
    • Don’t bend your legs. Bend forwards as far as the flexibility of your back will allow.
    • Don’t strain under any circumstances. The aim is to hold your big toes with the fingers and to touch your forehead to the knees; however many people, especially beginners, will find this impossible at present.
    • Merely bend forwards as far as you are able. If possible, grasp your big toes with your hands. If you cannot manage this, hold your feet at the heels. Otherwise grasp your ankles.
    •  If this is impossible, hold your calves. Stay in this position. Consciously relax your back muscles again.   

    Benefits of Paschimottanasana

    • Paschimottanasana tones and stretches the spinal and hamstring muscles and the associated nerves. This Asana improves the efficacy of the spinal nerves, in particular, therefore Paschimottanasana has beneficial repercussions throughout the entire body. It helps to remove excess abdominal fat and increase digestive fire, flatulence, constipation, anorexia, etc.
    • People who feel less energetic.
    • Increase height in children.
    • Cures obesity.
    • Beneficial in high blood pressure.

    Article Written By: Dr. Sahil Gupta, Ayurvedic Allergy Specialist

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