Advanced Pose - EMBRYO IN THE WOMB POSE

(Pindasana)


This posture, which is in the closing sequence of Ashtanga yoga, relaxes the whole spine, especially the muscles of the lumbar spine. It also strenghens the abdomen and improves the digestive system.

How To Perform

• Pindasana is entered into from Salamba Sarvangasana (Shoulder stand). Exhale and bend your right knee without dropping your hips, bringing it into Half Lotus. Now draw your left foot across to the top of your right upper thigh to create a full Lotus. This can be done either with or without the use of your hands depending on where you are at in your practice.

• From here, balancing on your shoulders and neck, exhale and draw your Lotus legs towards your chest, wrapping your arms around the outside and clasping your hands together. Open the backs of your shoulders evenly and release the neck long into the floor to create a broad base to balance on. Gently move your knees down on either side of your head and feel your body softly curling into an embryo shape, as if resting in the womb.

Modifications

• Care must be taken with the knees in this posture to prevent injury. Practise this in Half Lotus or knees crossed if you have any knee pain. If the stretch is too intense through the neck to begin with, practise with your hands on your back.