Ashtanga Namaskara is an asana or a posture described in yoga, where the body is balanced on eight points of contact with the floor: the two hands, the two feet, the two knees, the chest, and the head. It is a part of the Surya Namaskar sequence and is also practised as an alternative to Chaturanga Dandasana. It is considered the sixth pose in the Surya namaskar series; it combines yoga asanas, breathing points, and particular gaze points. Ashtanga Namaskara is considered a beginner pose, and when you regularly practice this Asana, you will develop the required strength for further balancing asanas. It is said that this particular Asana gives a feeling of freedom within one’s heart when practised with dedication and devotion.
The word Ashtanga consists of two words, that is, “Ashta” meaning “Eight” and “Anga” which means “Limbs”, whereas “Namaskara” means “bowing” or “greeting”. In English, Ashtanga Namaskara is known as the Knee-Chest-Chin pose. This pose is a symbol of greeting or bowing down used by devotees to pay respect to deities in Indian temples.
Sun is the vital source of energy and light on the earth, so by bending or greeting with our eight limbs touching the floor, the person performing the Asana asks for the blessing, strength, and energy required for yoga.
Before we begin with steps to follow on How to do Ashtanga Namaskara, there are a few cases in which we should avoid doing this Asana. They are:
Although this is a beginner-level asana, it is always advised to perform preparatory Asana to avoid any injury.
Worried about How to do Ashtanga Namaskara? Relax. Here is a step-by-step guide to do it:
There are a number of Benefits of Ashtanga Namaskara; here are a few:
When you regularly practice this Asana, it makes the spine change its shape while going and returning back from the pose. This improves the range of musculoskeletal aspects, which helps further to tone the spine and adds strength to it.
When practising Ashtanga Namaskara, raising the pelvis upward pushes the abdominals inward. This movement has the effect of massaging the abdominal organs, which makes them work better. However, over time, it also cleanses them.
Consistent practice of the Ashtanga Namaskara pose strengthens the heart muscles, which emboldens the coronary arteries and heart blood vessels to circulate the blood with intensity. Therefore, performing this pose regularly reduces the chances of a Heart attack.
Weight adjustment, starting the pose, and exiting the pose required almost every torso muscle. If practised regularly, this flow improves bone density and muscle tone. As a result, it improves upper body strength.
One of the asanas that work on more than one chakra is Ashtanga Namaskara. The Mooladhara (Root) Chakra, the Manipura (Solar Plexus) Chakra, and the Swadishthana (Sacral) Chakra can all be roused through consistent practice and appropriate breathing techniques under the direction of a skilled yoga instructor.
When you perform Ashtanga Namaskara along with pranayama, it is one of the most effective stress busters. It aids the benefit of making your mind calm and composed.
One of the Surya Namaskar sequences, Ashtanga Namaskara, improves physical, mental, and emotional aspects of being when practised regularly. However, one can practice the abovementioned variations and raise their level by changing the base pose. As a result, Ashtanga Namaskara is a posture for overall wellness and health that everyone should practise.
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