Ashwa Sanchalanasana (Equestrian Pose)
In Sanskrit “Ashwa” means “Horse”, “Sanchalan” means “movement or stepping”, “Yoga Asana” means “pose”. English name is “Equestrian or riding pose”. It is also known as “Low Lunge Pose”.
- Position : Standing
- Type : Hip opening
- Spiritual Awareness : Mooladhar and Ajna chakras
- Physical Awareness : Stretch from the thigh to the chest
- Dosha Suitability : Pitta
- Introducery Asanas : Padahastasana
- From Padahastasana, bend the knees, inhale, look forward.
- Place the palms of the hands flat on the floor beside the feet.
- Exhale, stretch the right leg back as far as possible with the ball of the foot on the floor. At the same time, bend the left knee, keeping the left foot on the floor with the thigh parallel to the floor and knee forming a right ankle in the same position. Keep the arms straight.
- In the final position, the weight of the body should be supported on both hands, the left foot, right knee and toes of the right foot.
- The head should be tilted backward, the back arched, and the inner gaze directed upward to the eyebrow centre. Lengthen the torso, lift the chest, and keep the back of the neck long.
- In the final pose, the palms of the hands should be flat on the floor initially. Later on, more advanced practitioners may come up onto the fingertips. Balance the weight in both thighs and the arms.
- To release, exhale and step the right foot forward and step back to Padahastasana.
Surya namaskar or Chandra namaskar sequence to continue
- The pose massages the abdominal organs and improves their functioning, strengthens the leg muscles and induces balance in the nervous system.
- Lengthens the spine and strengthens the muscles of the chest, opening the heart and increasing lung capacity.
- Tones the kidney and liver.
- Stretches and tones the liver.
- Increases willpower, courage and determination.
Constipation, infertility, low backache, osteoporosis, sciatica, menstrual discomfort.
Precautions and Contraindications:
- Knee injury : avoid, or take extra caution with front knee alignment – the front knee should be directly above the ankle and the shin is perpendicular to the floor; if necessary practice the gentle variation with the back knee resting on the floor;
- Neck problems: look down at the floor instead of strainght ahead;
- Late pregnancy : place both hands on inside of front foot, and only straighten the back leg if it feels appropriate.