Meaning of Krounchasana
Many asanas in Yoga are devised by watching the seating and general posture of birds. Krounchasana or Heron pose is one such Asana. This is a very intense pose for stretching. This asana is therapeutically beneficial for flat feet and flatulence.
Practice of Krounchasana
* The asana should be begun by sitting in Dandasana (Staff Pose).
* Bring the left leg into Ardha Virasana. Then bend the right knee and place the foot on the floor, just in front of the right sitting bone.
* Place the right arm against the inside of the right leg (so that the shoulder presses against the inner knee).
* Cross the hand in front of the right ankle and grasp the outside of the right foot.
* Finally grasp the inside of the right foot with the left hand.
* Lean back slightly, but keep the front torso long.
* Firm the shoulder blades against the back to help maintain the lift of the chest.
* Inhale and raise the leg diagonally to the floor forming an angle of about 45 degrees. The foot should be placed as high as possible or slightly higher than the head.
* Hold this position for 30 seconds to a minute.
* Then exhale and release the raised leg.
* Carefully unbend and straighten the left leg (see the description of Virasana [Hero Pose] for the safe way to remove the leg from its position).
* Repeat with the legs reversed for the same length of time.
The anatomical features that are impacted the most are ankles, thighs, knees, hamstrings, legs, arches, hips and chest.
Many beginning students won't be able to completely straighten the raised leg or will lose the lift of the chest when attempting to straighten the leg. To counter this, place a strap around the sole of the foot before trying to straighten the leg. Hold the strap as close to the foot as possible, but don't sacrifice keeping the elbows fully extended and the chest lifted.
Effects of Krounchasana
* The hamstrings are stretched and toned thoroughly.
* This asana stimulates the abdominal organs and heart.
Precautions for Krounchasana
* The asana is not recommended during Menstruation.
* If there is any serious knee or ankle problems, avoid the Ardha Virasana (Half Hero Pose) leg position in this pose unless there is the assistance of an experienced instructor.
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