In this week's issue

Yoga: Become flexibly strong

Bharat Thakur guides you through practices and wisdom of this ancient science of exercising

  • By Bharat Thakur
  • Published: 17:00 February 8, 2013
  • Tabloid on Saturday

  • Image Credit: Clint Egbert/Gulf News
  • Step 2. (Clint Egbert/Gulf News)
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Yoga for Strong Bones part 4

 Yoga practised on a regular basis strengthens the skeletal structure, including bones, ligaments and tendons. Holding yoga poses stimulates the bone with isometric contraction at almost every conceivable angle for long periods of time. Apart from enhancing bone mass and density yoga helps to align the bone fibres in a manner that provides greater strength and integrity to the skeletal structure.

Although the following posture can be practised on your own at home, we suggest you seek medical advice before you begin.

 Vrishchikasana (The Scorpion pose)

The Scorpion Pose or Vrishchikasana is an inverted backbend pose. Designed to enhance the strength and flexibility of the practitioner, the Scorpion Yoga Pose is one of the more difficult poses to master. The pose focuses on the back, hips, abdomen and legs, and is effective in toning the body.

• Start off in the Dolphin Pose as shown in image 1.

• Inhale and lift your left leg into the air as high as you can.

• Slowly kick the raised leg backwards, and lift your other leg off the floor as well. Now your entire body weight is on your palms, forearms, and elbows.

• Centre yourself as you strive for balance.

• Arch your back and try to bring your feet as close to your head as possible by bending your knees. Concentrate on stabilising your core muscles in order to maintain your balance.

• Keep your head facing forward with eyes focused on an imaginary point on the floor in front of your arms.

• Hold this posture for 30 seconds, or longer if possible. Maintain normal breathing.

• Exhale and slowly come back to the starting position.

 Benefits

• The Vrishchikasana is a great way to strengthen your torso and back and get rid of stubborn fat from these areas.

• It also helps to strengthen your arms and your shoulders.

• The Scorpion Pose also helps you to improve your sense of balance.

• This is also an excellent posture for improving the flexibility of the spine.

• It also helps to build stamina and endurance.

Caution: You should not perform this pose if you suffer from any hip, shoulder or back problems. People with high blood pressure, any heart condition, vertigo, diabetic retinopathy should avoid this pose.

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