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Asana name: Horse Gesture

Sanskrit name: Ashwini Mudra

Meaning: Horse Gesture Pose

General Benefits:
Strength of the muscles of the rectum, large intestine and perineum region is increased. Useful in preventing the prolapse of the rectum and preventing piles. Function of abdominal organs (especially lower abdomen) is improved. The Jalandhar Bandha improves the function of the thyroid, parathyroid and pituitary glands. All of the other endocrine glands are regulated by these main glands and so the overall function of the endocrine system is improved. This results in the improved functioning of all other systems of the body. The thyroid gland is improved due to the increase oxygen and blood as well as by reducing excess emotional and mental stress which affects the thyroid. Stagnant blood from the lower regions of the body, i.e. legs and abdomen is drained to the heart thereby improving the supply of fresh blood to these parts and the whole circulatory system. Blood supply to the head area i.e. brain, eyes, ears, nose and throat is improved thereby improving their functioning. Therefore all of the pelvic and abdominal area circulation, ear, throat and nose ailments are improved. The lung capacity is increased as the diaphragm, which is the muscle of respiration, has to work against gravity in this posture, this helps in the abdominal respiration and is therefore helpful in the treatment of asthma. Toxins in the respiratory system are drained thereby improving the respiratory system. Prevents and cures varicose veins. Detoxification of the body due to improved efficiency of the organs of the body which leads to youthfulness and anti-ageing effects. Normalizes body weight due to its effect on the thyroid. Due to the effect this asana has on the hormonal system, particularly the thyroid, it balances the circulatory, digestive, reproductive and nervous system. Due to the increased blood flow to the head the mind is tranquilized, stress and psychological disturbances are removed. The increased blood flow can be beneficial for those who suffer from headaches, though it should not be practiced at the time of headache. The thymus gland is stimulated which boosts the immune system. It balances the parathyroid glands that ensures regeneration and normal development of the bones. It releases the normal gravitational pressure from the anus muscles which helps with haemorrhoids. The nerves passing through the neck are toned and the neck flexibility is increased. The digestive system is greatly improved due to the increase in blood circulation and drainage of stagnant blood. The pranic flow is harmonized, increasing energy and having a positive effect on all the body systems.


Benefits for Women:
Strength of the muscles of the uterus. Useful in preventing the prolapse of the uterus and rectum and preventing piles.


Therapeutic Applications:
Uterus problems. Uterus and rectal prolapse. Thyroid disorders. Asthma. Reproductive problems. Headache. Haemorrhoids. Varicose veins. Prevention of cough and colds. Diabetes


Taking the Position:
In supine position exhale and while inhaling, contract the abdomen and slowly raise both legs to a 90 degree angle from the floor. While exhaling raise the waist and the hips from the floor and take the legs backwards over the head. While inhaling raise the back and the legs up into a vertical position, placing the hands on the upper back for support. The chin should rest against the chest, creating the chin lock. Inhale while exhaling bend both legs. Lower the legs from the hips bringing the thighs towards the abdomen. Knees may stay together or be slightly apart. In this position begin contracting and expanding the anus muscles while breathing normally.


Releasing the Positions:
To release the asana, stop the contraction and expansion of the anus. Inhaling straighten the legs from the hips. Exhaling bend in the waist and slowly lower the legs over the head. Release the hands from the upper back. Inhaling slowly lower the back to the floor, vertebrae by vertebrae, keeping the legs at a 90 degree angle from the floor.

Step 1


Step 2


Step 3


Step 4


Step 5


Step 6


Exhaling slowly lower both legs back to the supine position. Relax your body and breathe normally.


Anatomical Focus:
Neck, shoulders, back, anus muscles


Anatomical Awareness:
On core area, perineum


Do's:
Legs are bent at the knees and the knees are just above the head or towards the ears. Press the thighs towards the abdomen. Try and keep the back in a straight, vertical position. Try and rest the chin against the chest.


Don'ts:
Bend the back. Let the knees come to the ground or away from the body. Move the neck or overstrain it in chin lock position.


Precautions & Contraindications:
Any women suffering from severe problems of the uterus should not practice this asana. Should be avoided during pregnancy and menstruation, high blood pressure and brain diseases. Should be avoided if suffering from an enlarged thyroid, spleen or liver as well as cervical spondylitis, slipped disc, headache and weak blood vessels in the eyes.


Variations & Tips:
One may need a folded blanket under the neck, shoulders and elbows for support.


Preparatory Poses:
Sarvangasana. Viparit Karni. Dwi Pada Uttanpadasana.


Follow-up Poses:
Halasana. Vistrut Pada Halasana. Karnapeedanasana. Matsyasana - to counterbalance the Jalandhar Bandha. Chakrasana.


Position:
Supine.