Improve your flexibility and balance with the power of the horse pose
Published on:26 April 2021, 16:08pm IST
Improving flexibility and balance by regularly practising the horse pose or vatayanasana, can improve the quality of your workout sessions.
Listen to this article
Ever felt jealous after seeing a celebrity perform tough yoga poses and easily complete intense workout routines? Well, let’s tell you their secret. It’s their flexibility quotient! Now, it takes time to build your flexibility but if you are in a hurry and want to add something to your fitness routine in order to quickly increase your flexibility, you’ve gotta try the horse pose, also known as vatayanasana.
Vatayanasana is also known as flying horse pose or horse face pose. It is basically a balancing posture that targets the quads, glutes, and inner thigh muscles. It is a beginner and intermediate yoga posture with variations available for both levels.
Ladies, we would like to give you a heads up before you incorporate it into your workout routine. Avoid this asana if you fall under the following categories:
Avoid practising the vatayanasana if you’re pregnant
Those who are suffering from sciatica or slip disc should refrain from performing this pose.
Do not perform it with an injured knee, hip, or ankle.
If you are suffering from a hernia, do not practice it as it might increase the pain.
When it comes to the horse pose, yoga expert Grand Master Akshar suggests 2 poses, based on your level of expertise:
A step-by-step guide to performing the horse pose for beginners
Start by standing straight
Keep your feet apart. Your toes should be pointing outwards.
As you inhale, reach your arms in line with your shoulders, stretching them outward to the side.
As you exhale, bend your knees at a 90-degree angle
Keep the knees aligned
Hold this asana for 30 seconds and keep breathing
A step-by-step guide to performing the horse pose for those at the intermediate and advanced levels
Sit on the floor, placing the left foot on the right thigh close to the hip, i.e., half padmasana
Keep your hands by the sides, placing the palms on the floor
Exhale as you lift your torso off the floor
Bring the externally rotated left knee on the floor
Bring the right foot forward and place the right heel near the left knee
Ensure that the right thigh is parallel to the floor
Inhale and straighten your back, stretching the pelvis forward. Lift your hands to the chest level
Bend the elbows, crossing them so that the right elbow lies in the crook of the left
Now, intertwine the forearms and join the palms together
Hold the pose and keep breathing normally
Release the arms and sit on the floor, straightening the legs
Repeat the pose by switching the position of the foot and the arms
Grand Master Akshar suggests 6 spectacular benefits of doing the horse pose
1. Enhances your flexibility
It releases muscle tension if practised regularly. The stretching involved in the pose provides extra flexibility to the muscles.
2. Strengthens your muscles and bones
It increases the endurance and stability of the bones and muscles. Eventually, your bones and muscles get stronger.
3. Improves blood circulation
The asana improves blood circulation in the lower body. It particularly facilitates the proper flow of blood through the hip region.
4. Reduces joint pain
The pose helps in getting rid of any stiffness in the body and relieves joint pain.
5. Improves the posture
With a focus on the lower body, the pose is particularly beneficial for the hips and legs. Regular practice of vatayanasana improves minor asymmetry in the hips and legs, improving alignment and balance. Hence, it improves the posture of the body.
6. Improves balance and concentration
Vatayanasana helps in improving concentration and focus. It will enhance balance but more importantly, it will also strengthen focus due to the concentration on proper balance.
“According to research, vatayanasana provides an improved sense of balance and concentration to the practitioner,” says Grand Master Akshar.