Ashtanga yoga is very effective in improving one’s health and in unleashing mental wellness through meditation. This yoga, which is regarded for its strenuous nature, had grown famous for yogis looking for a combination of yoga and physical workout. Now, if you’re looking for Ashtanga Yoga poses to level up your meditation, you’re reading the right post.
1. Intense Hand To Big Toe Pose
Known in Sanskrit as the Utthita Hasta Padangushtasana, this posture is one of the most difficult poses but it definitely works! To do this, you need to stand on your left leg with a left arm supporting your waist. After that, you should pull your right foot’s big toe using your right hand. The pulling motion of your extended limbs will stabilize your balance.
This is best paired with the right breathing pattern. You should shift focus without falling off. This might be hard for meditation at first try, but once you master it, you’re going to have a leveled up yoga experience. I don’t suggest this for beginners since it needs an extra level of dexterity.
Vinyasas are combinations of different postures like Low Plank Pose and Upward Facing Dog. This is usually done after the 18 standing poses and before you transfer to another posture. This works as a reset asana before you do the next complex move.
The sweating this posture gives removes the toxins inside your body while the breathing patterns help calm the mind. Mental clutter is one of the energy blockers in our bodies, so you really need to get rid of it. Moreover, this posture makes you more mindful of your form, breath, and thinking.
The smooth movement of Vinyasa- one of the Ashtanga Yoga poses-makes a dance-like motion that’s relaxing. Vinyasas are usually accompanied with chanting to instill the meditation into the subconscious mind.
3. Triangle Pose
For this, you need to stand on your feet that are four feet apart and with your right foot placed forward. The other food should make a 45-degree angle while you stretch your arms outward over your waist. After that, you should place your right hand on your knee and try grabbing your toe using the other hand.
This might be challenging at first, but it’s effective in warming up your hamstrings and spine for more complex postures. Aside from settling your mind into meditation, this pose is beneficial for carving abdominal muscles and aiding digestive problems. And with improved blood circulation in the body, you’re mind can focus well.
4. Sage Forward Bend
This seated twist pose stretches the crotch area as well as the hip. You should seat with your legs stretched in front of you with the left leg bent and foot planted steadily on the floor. After that, bend forward using your right hand and wrap the other around your leg. With this, you should practice your inhale and exhale exercises.
When you do this every day, you’ll see best results in meditation and flexibility. You can actually use vinyasas before shifting to another foot for the same drill.
Since this posture will press your stomach, make sure that you haven’t eaten something heavy before doing the asana. Anyway, Ashtanga is usually done before breakfast.
5. Mula Bandha
“Mula” means root and “Bandha” means binding in Sanskrit. As one of the Bandha Ashtanga Yoga poses, this is believed to stimulate “prana”, or the life-force energy that governs us all. To do this, you should stand upright with feet together and your hands at the side. Slowly, do a curving on your hips and butt until you do a triangle like position with hands on the floor.
Before doing this Downward Facing Dog position, you should always have the breathing in place. This means that in every position progression, you should have exchanges of inhales and exhales. Mula Bandha helps strengthen arm and leg muscles while boosting your sitting bones’ flexibility.
6. Upward Abdominal Lock (Uddiyana Bandha)
The main feature of this asana is the contracting of the abdomen part up to your rib cage. You should do a standing position with your back in a wall with hands resting on your thighs. After that, inhale from your nose and massively exhale it.
After the big exhale, try pulling your belly up as if you intend your navel to touch your spine. To simplify, it’s like inhaling massively without actually taking any air at all. You should try holding this until you can’t retain your breath. After that, relax a bit and do the same thing again. Do the breath retention while meditating and without gasping.
But since this will compress your abdomen, make sure to do this on an empty stomach.
Meditation is an important component of Ashtanga yoga. With these Ashtanga yoga poses, you’d surely level up and utilize your body and mind’s capability. How’s your meditation going on? Share your experience with us in the comment section!