Jul 152015
 
Yoga Class Special

SAVY’s 4th Anniversary Yoga Class Special

Yoga Class Special

 

LET THE CELEBRATIONS BEGIN!!!

SAVY ENTERS ITS FIFTH YEAR OF OPERATION

IN THE COMING MONTH OF AUGUST, 2015

YOU MADE IT POSSIBLE!

THANK YOU LONDON!

Lots of promises fulfilled,

Still, lots of work ahead!

Please check SAVY Storyline.

As a token of our THANKS

SAVY HEALING YOGA STUDIO OFFERS

THE MOST AUTHENTIC FORM OF YOGA

WITH MOST HEALTHFUL YOGA ROUTINES

WITH THE MOST HEALING EFFECT

AT THE MOST AFFORDABLE PRICES

UNDER THE MOST QUALIFIED FACULTY

IN THE MOST CARING ENVIRONMENT

TO THE MOST LOVING PEOPLE

OF LONDON

AND NOW

Another Incredible Offer from SAVY

JUST FOR YOU

Enjoy the benefits of

LONDON’S BEST YOGA

at

$25/ month*

For the next FULL ONE YEAR

*Conditions apply. This is SAVY Flexi Card offer.

Limited number of vouchers available

Other plans are also available.

The salient features of London Yoga Classes at SAVY are:

  • Comprehensive, authentic, world class teaching and knowledge-base in all aspects of Yoga
  • Authentic Ashtanaga and Vinyasa Yoga training based on true, traditional Yoga from India
  • Asanas, Pranayama, Pratyahara, Dhyana, Kriyas. Chakras, Kundalini Awakening, Shatkarma, Marma, Mantra etc
  • Clear, concise, to-the-point instruction and individualized care
  • One of the most qualified, experienced, international faculty, well-trained in India with excellent teaching skills
  • Yoga School with highest ranking of RYS 200, RYS 300 – we train yoga teachers up to the highest rank
  • Yoga Therapy services for all diseases available
  • Wonderful, knowledgeable, stable, regular, supportive, warm, welcoming yoga community
  • Unique, specialized yoga classes – Sukshma Yoga, Vinyasa Yoga, Deep Stretch Yoga, Yoga for Face, Meditation Classes, Sun and Moon Salutations, Pranayama etc
  • Workshops on interesting Yoga topics from time to time
  • Delve deep into the field of Yoga – Keep learning and sharing knowledge
  • Suitable time of classes
  • Small size of even group classes
  • Small Class Yoga for smaller groups
  • Private sessions also available
  • Decent studio setting – enjoy the calm, serene surroundings
  • Plenty of Free Parking
  • Most affordable Yoga Classes

Sign up today

<

p style=”text-align: center;”>Let’s walk into the future together, with better health for everyone!

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p style=”text-align: left;”>*HST applicable with all payments

Jul 262014
 
Yoga Offer

We Celebrate 3rd Anniversary with a Great Yoga Offer!

Yoga Offer

LET THE CELEBRATIONS BEGIN!

WITH ITS THREE BRANCHES IN LONDON

SAVY ENTERS ITS FOURTH YEAR OF OPERATION

IN THE COMING MONTH OF AUGUST, 2014

IT WAS NOT POSSIBLE WITHOUT YOU!

THANK YOU LONDON!

We could fulfil many promises

But we have lots of work ahead of us

Please check SAVY Storyline.

As a token of our THANKS

SAVY HEALING YOGA STUDIOS OFFER

THE MOST AUTHENTIC FORM OF YOGA

WITH MOST HEALTHFUL YOGA ROUTINES

WITH THE MOST HEALING EFFECT

AT THE MOST AFFORDABLE PRICES

UNDER THE MOST QUALIFIED FACULTY

IN THE MOST CARING ENVIRONMENT

TO THE MOST LOVING PEOPLE

OF LONDON

Now

Another Incredible Offer from SAVY

JUST FOR YOU

Enjoy the benefits of

London’s Best Yoga

at

$39/ month*

(OR $425 upfront)

For the next FULL ONE YEAR

This is a whopping 50% discount!

*Conditions apply. Offer for ‘SAVY Regular 8 C‘ Card only.

Limited number of vouchers available

The salient features of London Yoga Classes at SAVY are:

  • Comprehensive, authentic, world class teaching and knowledge-base in all aspects of Yoga
  • Authentic Ashtanaga and Vinyasa Yoga training based on true, traditional Yoga from India
  • Asanas, Pranayama, Pratyahara, Dhyana, Kriyas. Chakras, Kundalini Awakening, Shatkarma, Marma, Mantra etc
  • Clear, concise, to-the-point instruction and individualized care
  • One of the most qualified, experienced, international faculty, well-trained in India with excellent teaching skills
  • Yoga School with highest ranking of RYS 500 – we train yoga teachers up to the highest rank
  • Yoga Therapy services for all diseases available
  • Wonderful, knowledgeable, stable, regular, supportive, warm, welcoming yoga community
  • Unique, specialized yoga classes – Sukshma Yoga, Vinyasa Yoga, Deep Stretch Yoga, Yoga for Face, Meditation Classes, Sun and Moon Salutations, Pranayama etc
  • Workshops on interesting Yoga topics from time to time
  • Delve deep into the field of Yoga – Keep learning and sharing knowledge
  • Suitable time of classes
  • Small size of even group classes
  • Small Class Yoga for smaller groups
  • Private sessions also available
  • Decent studio setting – enjoy the calm, serene surroundings
  • Plenty of Free Parking
  • Most affordable Yoga Classes

Sign up today

Let’s walk into the future together, with better health for everyone!

<

p style=”text-align: left;”>*HST applicable with all payments

Jun 082014
 
50 PLUS

SAVY 50+ Yoga – Yoga for the 50 Plus

 50+ Yoga

“First, follow the truth, and then truth will follow you…. In the beginning, it is true that confidence and trust are necessary, but as you continue to practice, every step will bring more and more hope and greater confidence. If we are Yogis just even for one day, we will be transformed for ever and would want more of it.”

-The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, 2.36

If you are 50+, yoga is certainly for you!

By the time you reach 50, your heart has beaten more than 1.5 billion times, your lungs have taken over 400 million breaths, you’ve laughed, loved, won, and lost.

One thing you never want to lose is your health.

The human body is a durable machine. It operates without interruption, day after day, year after year. But are you taking the right steps to keep this vital machine as healthy as possible through mid-life and beyond?

At SAVY, we guide you to maintain and improve your health! We offer some very specialised, effective programs for mature adults, viz., programs for 50+, Part-time Personnel, Retired Personnel and Seniors. 

Mature adults have always received a very warm welcome in our classes; some of them come to recover from years of neglect of their bodies or the assault of years of intense exercise, or of practising unsuitable pseudo-yoga routines, while others join in to prevent heart disease and osteoporosis and the general rigidity and weakness that may set in with age, and some are there even to actually recover from these problems and more serious health issues. While we have always had some yoga classes dedicated to the health of 50+ group, by introducing 50 Plus Yoga, we’ll be earmarking more classes which are more suitable for those around 50 or more mature adults, though they are always welcome to join us in any of our classes.

50+ Yoga can make you relax within a few minutes. Its effect penetrates the physical, mental and spiritual levels. This consists of gentle stretching and coordinated breathing, and breathing exercises, that result in deep relaxation. It includes easy exercises for the eyes, tongue and jaws, neck, hands, feet, knees, ankles and hips. The whole body, from head to toe, is treated, relaxed and rejuvenated. These exercises stimulate, balance and energise the Marma points and Chakras and optimise neuronal and hormone health of the physical body. External and internal body parts undergo deep transformation over a period of time. These scientific exercises not only make us stronger and more supple, but also help remove impurities from the body and improve the memory, concentration and will-power.

With age, in fact, after the age of 40 and sometimes even earlier, we start losing joint mobility and balance, as well as muscle and bone mass and stiffness sets in as the spine loses its mass and mobility. By age 45, we start paying for our sins. Neck and back problems, knee pain, hip joint problems, high blood pressure and tons of other problems start showing up by middle life. Aging is multifactorial and many other factors also play an important role. Consequently, almost all of those 45 and over have to learn to live with one or the other health issue.

Yoga is the best anti-aging potion that can be there! One can slow down ageing with yoga, or even reverse the ageing process with advanced yoga. Yogic exercises act by opening the postures and moving each joint through its full range of movement and counter the effects of gravity by lengthening the spine. Different elements of yoga need to be emphasised for different age-groups: the emphasis for the younger yogi is building and challenging the body, by midlife, the focus is on maintaining optimum health including injury prevention through yoga lifestyle (e.g. mindset, biomechanics, safe user-friendly routines, advanced breathing techniques (Pranayama), proper food choices, rest and relaxation). In yoga, the age of a person is determined by the age of the spine, and also by the length of the sciatic nerve. So, by working on these principles while avoiding the damage caused by intense exercises or wrong exercise routines, one can hope to stay healthy.

SAVY 50 + Yoga routines address some key issues:

  • People starting yoga around age 50 and later usually come to class with various health issues commonly associated with the ageing process, such as increasing stiffness, back and neck pain, kyphosis, problems with balance, arthritis, osteoporosis, knee and hip replacements, heart health and blood pressure issues. Slow paced classes with slow stretches and breathing exercises help people recover. We have seen miraculous health improvements happen in our classes.
  • Starting with simple lying down poses that are generally safe for everyone is the routine practice at SAVY. We introduce students to more challenging poses, such as leg stretches, hip openers and twists, in a graded manner. Slow and gentle allows the body to go deeper into the poses.
  • With so many like-minded, similarly aged people around, motivation level improves quickly. So, the challenge of convincing people that it’s something they need to do, is more than met.
  • It’s sometimes particularly hard for many older men and seasoned yogis to slow down, or not try to replicate what someone younger and more adept in the class is doing. The threshold for when to slow down is individual – it depends on when you started yoga and what shape you’re in. Some 70 years olds may be stronger or more flexible than an out-of-shape 25 years old. Still, we always caution to observe and be cautious about individual limits to avoid injury.
  • Use of props may encourage students to go a little further than their body permits. We have always discouraged the use of any props in our classes.
  • The focus is more on maintenance and improvement of function with practice. The purpose, key areas of focus and limitations in each pose are explained well to understand that.
  • Everybody gets individual attention at SAVY Studio, be it a larger or a smaller group. That helps avoid injury.
  • Everybody can benefit from yoga. Pranayama aids further in internal healing of the body, mind and spirit.
  • It’s important to keep the head below heart level for at least 10 minutes. So, we include inverted poses in routines which everyone can do.
  • We practice in a way that is appropriate, soothing and healing. We never force and always avoid poses that bear weight directly on the neck and head.
  • We advise modifications of challenging poses to make it easy for those who find it difficult to do them.
  • We focus on exercises which lengthen the spine.
  • We teach to move from hip joints instead of bending back and neck too much during bending poses.

Gently Challenging yoga poses,

Energizing rounds of Sun Salutations,

Rejuvenating Breathing exercises,

Connecting Primordial Sound Chanting. 

Relaxing Meditation,

Awakening Yoga Nidra,

Cleansing & detoxifying Kriyas,

And more unique benefits of other Yoga elements,

We offer one of the most complete & healing yoga routines on this planet!

Come and check out the 100% pure Yoga routine

Learn and practice these routines and see yourself getting healthier by leaps and bounds.

Experience the grandeur, challenge, authenticity, depth and expanse of yoga

Come and witness the potential of pure yoga!

Learn all that directly under expert guidance of one of the most qualified faculty in the world!

50+ Yoga Classes daily at SAVY Healing Yoga Studios

We have marked classes in the schedule with a ‘50+’ sign to make it easy for you to find them.

These classes are more suitable for those around 50 and more and it’s advisable to start with these classes.

 Choose your class today! Please book your spot in advance to avoid inconvenience.

Pre-registration at least one day in advance is mandatory.

Please check details with the Studio or click below:

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p style=”text-align: center;”>London Yoga Classes

Nov 162013
 
ChristmasSpecial

Hello London!

Merry Christmas and a Very Happy New Year 2014 in advance!

Winter has set in and Christmas is close by, it is time for festivities and 2014 is just around the corner.

SAVY, as you know well, stands for the best and the safest in the field of Yoga, Yoga Education, Yoga Therapy, Yoga Research and related fields.

Our new yoga room has been fully operational.

New yoga teachers are joining SAVY and will start holding their classes soon.

New contact programs for RYT 200 have been announced and we are accepting registrations.

A lot more is happening at SAVY.

We know, with SAVY, you always expect more, and we love to be able to come up to your expectations.

Keeping our promise of providing the most economical Yoga Classes in US and Canada, we have more good news for you!

We have two great offers right now:

Offer 1: SAVY Slasher

It is an 8 class card with a slasher function, i.e., it will slash off 40% from all your purchases for the next full year.

So, 40% off on yoga class cards,

or

40% off on Unlimited Yoga Cards,

or

40% off on Special classes on meditation, Pranayama

or …. the list is endless.

And you can have all this actually free of cost with one 8-Class Card, or 8-Class Card with your Slasher!

Check the details at http://www.savy-international.com/2013/10/03/slasher/

Offer 2: Unlimited Yoga for 2014

This is actually a group of offers for unlimited yoga in 2014.

Here are the great Yoga offers from SAVY!

  1. SAVY Unlimited – 2014, for 12 months, for $699; the first ten people purchasing this card also get a complementary ‘Slasher Component!
  2. SAVY Unlimited –6M (Jan-June, 2014, or, July – Dec, 2014), for 6 months, for $399
  3.  For newcomers, 1 month of unlimited yoga for $30 only.

(HST extra)

These are the minimum rates for the most complete and healthful yoga classes in London!

But like all good things in life, these offers also must finish fast, and will be

Available ONLY till December 31!

And there is another special offer for those who want to come for one class per week – the SAVY Year Card-2014! For $399 for one full year of yoga, that’s a steal!

You can make your payment on phone or you can come and pick your card at the studio. We prefer cash – that saves us, and you, money!

So, grab your card now!

You can also let your friends know of these unbeatable plans!

The dates and details of the workshops on Dr Sahdev’s ‘Breathe and Heal’ Program, Yoga for different diseases including Cancer, Tumours, Multiple Sclerosis, Ataxia, Dementia, Stress, Depression, Sleep Apnea etc are ready and are online. Yoga and especially breathing exercises can go a long way in helping in various diseases and we are out to prove that. Breathing exercises or Pranayama has always been SAVY’s strength.

 

We have added lots of new features/ programs recently and so much more is on cards. The best way to keep a tap on activities at SAVY will be to subscribe to the website and ‘Like’ the Facebook page. All the new offers and updates will be there as soon as they are available.

 

Coming weeks will see still more activity at SAVY: so many updates, new classes, new programs, interesting workshops etc. So, keep in touch and stay tuned.

 

Continue your practice of Yoga at SAVY and stay happy, healthy and abundant in life!

 

See you soon.

 

 

Namastey!

 

 

Thanks and Regards,

Dr Jitender K Sahdev

D.Sc. (AM), Ph.D. (AM), M.D. (AM)
E-RYT 500 (Yoga Alliance, USA)
Member, IAYT, USA
M.B.,B.S.,
Fc Surgery (SASMS)
Fc Surgical Oncology (SASMS)
FPC (IMA-AKNSI)

President and Director of Teaching

Sep 302013
 

Featured SAVY Yogi of the Month – Debbie

Hello, my name is Debbie. I have been with SAVY Yoga for 2 years now.

 

I have practiced yoga now and then over the years and have recognized the many benefits it can provide.

Debbie

From the very beginning with SAVY, I have been impressed with the amount of knowledge and background Jitender brings to the classroom.

 Debbie

He is caring and compassionate and works with each individual to challenge your ability for improvement.

 

Debbie

 

Along with the great bunch of participants class is not only fun but entertaining as well.

 

Debbie

 Sometimes I might not really feel like going to class, but when I do, I feel so invigorated for the rest of the day and so glad I made the effort to be there.

 

Debbie

Debbie

My favorite poses would be the shoulder stand and the sun salutation.

Debbie

Debbie

Yoga has benefited my everyday life by increasing my inner core strength,

 

Debbie

 

improved my posture,

Debbie

given me energy and peace of mind.

 

Debbie

It has been a real pleasure getting to know Jitender and his family.

 

Debbie

I would encourage you to come to SAVY and experience the many benefits for yourself.

 

A note from the President’s desk

Dr Jitender K Sahdev

October, the month of the Halloween, is here. We’ll also be celebrating International Day of Non-Violence and International World Teachers’ Day. In Canada, it is celebrated as Brain Tumor Awareness month too, and we at SAVY will be launching a program for brain tumor care this month. It marks the start of the season of autumn. It’s a very interesting month in the way that in non-leap years, January starts on the same day of the week as October, but no other month starts on the same day of the week as October in leap years. October ends on the same day of the week as February every year and January in non-leap years only. There is much more to this month, but I’ll leave that to you to explore. 😀
In this now very popular Featured SAVY Yogi of the Month series, we present SAVY Yogis who have been learning the right kind of yoga with correct techniques, have done wonderfully well for themselves and are a guiding light and a source of great inspiration for others.
With great pride and pleasure, I introduce another savvy SAVY Yogi – Debbie, this month. Debbie is a real Yogi at heart, as she believes in living in the moment and gives her best to the moment. A very loving and caring person herself, exuding positivity, she has a great attitude and a wonderful aptitude and is a joy to teach and has always been a source of great support and inspiration and a pillar of strength. Her regularly irregular presence in yoga classes, along with Mama Jane’s, 😀  is loaded with fun, focus and dedication. She doesn’t take long in picking up the instruction and her devotion and steadfastness is commendable. Her grit and determination for results is something I would love to ape ASAP.
Keep it up, Debbie!
– Jitender
Aug 252013
 
Yoga Month 2013

One week of Yoga Classes Free in Yoga Month

Yoga Month 2013

Yoga Month 2013

September is International Yoga Month. Yoga is considered a great force to build both mental and physical strength. In a bid to attract more people towards yoga and making them aware of yoga benefits, SAVY International Inc is celebrating International Yoga Month in September.

SAVY Studio, one of London’s most favoured Yoga Studios, offers 10 wonderful ways to one and all to celebrate International Yoga month.

#1 Take Free Yoga Classes

New students can celebrate International Yoga Month this September by receiving Free Yoga classes for One Week at SAVY Studio. If you want to give yoga a try, now is your chance. Fill up the Registration Form online now and claim your free one week of SAVY Yoga in September, and continue with wonderful promotional offers at SAVY Studio.

#2 Download free Primordial Sound Chant

Get into meditation by listening to ‘AUM’ chanting recorded in Dr Jitender K Sahdev’s mesmerizing, mellifluous and melodious voice. Download it, sit in a quiet corner, play it, sing along and experience the bliss. Register for our Primordial Sound meditation classes starting soon.

#3 Educate yourself on the health benefits of yoga

Educate yourself on the health benefits of yoga in one or more of the following ways:

  • Read articles on this website about yoga poses (asanas), breathing exercises (pranayama), kriyas, mudras etc and keep yourself updated.
  • Learn what the Mayo Clinic has to say on the positive things that yoga can do.
  • The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine has a page dedicated to yoga.

#4 Teach someone else to do yoga

If you have already learnt the correct yoga at SAVY Studio, give back by teaching your children, a friend, another family member or a colleague.

#5 Buy a yoga gift for yourself or another

If you have not done it already, buy yourself a Yoga Class Card or Unlimited Yoga Card, or get a Gift Certificate for somebody else. Check other promotional offers for Yoga month at the studio.

#6 Give a Yoga Gift

Get a Yoga mat for yourself or someone you care about and let him/ her improve quality of life with yoga.

#7 Learn a new yoga pose (asana)

If you already practice yoga, try something different by learning a new asana. You may even find a new favorite.

#8 Deepen your yoga practice

You know yoga already but you want to learn more! Sign up for an educational course at SAVY. It’s easy with online option and payment plans. Learn more about breathing exercises by joining Dr Sahdev’s ‘Breathe and Heal’ Program and live life to your full potential.

#9 Try Special Yoga Classes, Workshops, Yoga Massages, Marma Therapy, Yoga Nutrition, Mantra, Vedic Astrology

Yoga is too vast. Yoga can give you whatever you ask for. Try some different Special Classes, or deepen your knowledge with workshops on special topics.

#10 Spread the word

Tell your friends about SAVY Yoga and encourage them join yoga classes. If someone in your circle has health issues, let them know about Yoga Therapy services at SAVY and the pioneering programs like Dr Sahdev’s ‘Breathe and Heal’ Program and Fight Cancer’ Program. These programs can help in every disease under the sun! We offer Yoga Therapy as complementary treatment.

Enjoy yoga at SAVY all September and later with these 10 wonderful ways to celebrate International Yoga Month!

Steps to claim your FREE YOGA WEEK:

  • Get your free ticket below.
  • Go to http://www.savy-international.com/london-yoga-classes/ and fill up and submit Registration Form online.
  • Check the schedule of classes on the same page. We recommend starting classes on Mondays.
  • Email/ call SAVY Studio to let us know you are coming.

Get your FREE TICKET here:

Featured SAVY Yogi of the Month – Noel Paterson

 Featured Yogi, Yoga  Comments Off on Featured SAVY Yogi of the Month – Noel Paterson
Aug 082013
 
Noel Paterson

FEATURED SAVY YOGI OF THE MONTH

Noel Paterson

I am Noel Paterson and I joined SAVY Studio in summer of 2011.
Noel Paterson
I did several sessions at other studios in London for 2 years before that.
I was excited to find SAVY–I expected more than other studios because SAVY had a full-fledged yoga master.My expectations were more than met!
Noel Paterson
I have found the sessions to be excellent for me.
Noel Paterson
I also like the many associations I’ve made with  other yoga enthusiasts at the studio.
My overall physical and mental health has improved.
Noel Paterson
I like SAVY because the whole program is geared to personal well-being — Jitender knows the right programs for each individual and a thorough screening is done to evaluate each person’s needs before beginning a program.To boot, Jitender is a medical doctor and knows what programs are suited to each individual. He amply stresses the importance of breathing techniques.
The prices are excellent–geared to everyone’s income.One could not ask for a better variety of programs suited for young and old.
This studio offers considerably more than any of the other studios that I’m familiar with.
I’m so thankful that I discovered SAVY International.
They have a terrific website too. Come and experience for yourself.
– Noel
A note from the President’s desk
It’s 8th August and we celebrate 2nd Anniversary of the SAVY Studio today. It’s a matter of great pleasure and honour to mark the beginning of the third year with this new series of FEATURED SAVY YOGI OF THE MONTH on this auspicious day.
We’ll be presenting SAVY Yogis in this series who have been learning the right kind of yoga with right techniques, have done really well for themselves and are a guiding light and a source of great inspiration for others.
It’s heartening and a matter of great pride to present Noel Paterson as SAVY Yogi this month. His enthusiasm, understanding and  perseverance is exemplary and a source of great inspiration to everyone at SAVY Studio, including me. Over the last two years, he has been very regular and his dedication has had obvious results, as is quite evident from the photographs.
Keep it up, Noel! We love you.
– Jitender

2nd Anniversary Offers – Unlimited Yoga!

 Promotions, SAVY NEWS  Comments Off on 2nd Anniversary Offers – Unlimited Yoga!
Aug 012013
 

Pashchimottanasana – The West Stretch or Seated Forward Bend

 Meditation, Partner Yoga, Yoga, Yoga Posture -Asana, Yoga Therapy  Comments Off on Pashchimottanasana – The West Stretch or Seated Forward Bend
Jul 212013
 
Paschimottanasana

Pashchimottanasana – The West Stretch or Seated Forward Bend

DSC_0040a

Pashchimottanasana

Paschimottanasana stretches the length of the spine, and allows the life-force to flow to every part of the body.

परसार्य पादौ भुवि दण्डरूपौ दोर्भ्यां पदाग्रदवितयं गॄहीत्वा |
जानूपरिन्यस्तललाटदेशो वसेदिदं पश्छिमतानमाहुः || ३० ||

prasārya pādau bhuvi daṇḍa-rūpau
dorbhyāṃ padāghra-dvitayaṃ ghṝhītvā |
jānūparinyasta-lalāṭa-deśo
vasedidaṃ paśchimatānamāhuḥ || 28 ||

Having stretched the feet on the ground, like a stick, and having grasped the toes of both the feet with both the hands, when one sits with his forehead resting on the thighs, it is called Paśchima Tâna.

इति पश्छिमतानमासनाग्र्यं पवनं पश्छिमवाहिनं करोति |
उदयं जठरानलस्य कुर्याद उदरे कार्श्यमरोगतां पुंसाम || 29 ||

 

iti paśchimatānamāsanāghryaṃ
pavanaṃ paśchima-vāhinaṃ karoti |
udayaṃ jaṭharānalasya kuryād
udare kārśyamaroghatāṃ cha puṃsām || 29 ||

This most excellent of all asanas, Pashchimottanasana, makes the breath flow through the Sushumna, rouses the gastric fire, makes the loins lean, and removes all diseases.

Hatha Yoga Pradipika, Chapter 1, verse 29

Pashchimottanasana (Sanskrit: पश्चिमोत्तानासन; IAST: paścimottānāsana), Seated Forward Bend, or Intense Dorsal Stretch, is a yoga posture.

(PASH-chee-moh-tan-AHS-anna)

pashchimottana = intense stretch of the west (pashima = west, uttana = intense stretch)

Together with Padmasana (lotus), Siddhasana (half-lotus) and Vajrasana (lightning-bolt pose), this pose is an accomplished pose according to the Shiva Samhita. It was advocated by 11th century yogi Gorakshanath.

Etymology

The name comes from the Sanskrit word paschima (पश्चिम, paścima) meaning “west” and uttana (उत्तान, uttāna) meaning “intense stretch” or “straight – asana  (आसन) meaning “posture”.

  • Paschima (पश्चिम, Paścima) = Back, West, Back of Body
  • ud (उद्, ud) =Prefix for Verbs or Nouns which indicates superiority in Location, Rank, Power, Intensity.
  • Tana (तान, Tāna) = stretched
  • Uttana (उत्तान, Uttāna) = intense stretch, straight, straightened
  • Asana (आसन, āsana) = Posture, seat

Pashchimottanasana (पश्चिमोत्तानासन, Paścimottānāsana) = Intense-Stretch-of-back-of-body

Classification and Level: Basic seated forward bend

Concentration: On the back and the Manipura Chakra

Step by Step:

  1. Sit on the floor with your legs straight in front of you. You may support your buttocks on a folded blanket. Press actively through your heels. Rock slightly onto your left buttock, and pull your right sitting bone away from the heel with your right hand. Repeat on the other side. Turn the top thighs in slightly and press them down into the floor. Press through your palms or finger tips on the floor beside your hips and lift the top of the sternum toward the ceiling as the top thighs descend.
  1. Draw the inner groins deep into the pelvis. Inhale, and keeping the front torso long, lean forward from the hip joints, not the waist. Keep the back and neck straight. Lengthen the tailbone away from the back of your pelvis. If possible hold the big toes or take the sides of the feet with your hands, thumbs on the soles, elbows fully extended. Be sure your elbows are straight, not bent.
  1. When you are ready to go further, don’t forcefully pull yourself into the forward bend, even if your hands are on the feet. Always lengthen the front torso into the pose, keeping your head raised. If you are holding the feet, bend the elbows out to the sides and lift them away from the floor. The lower belly should touch the thighs first, and then the upper belly, the ribs, and the head last.
  1. With each inhalation, lift and lengthen the front torso just slightly; with each exhalation release a little more fully into the forward bend. In this way the torso oscillates and lengthens almost imperceptibly with the breath. Eventually you may be able to stretch the arms out beyond the feet on the floor.
  1. Stay in the pose anywhere from 1 to 3 minutes initially. To come up, first lift the torso away from the thighs and straighten the elbows again if they are bent. Then inhale and lift the torso up by pulling the tailbone down and into the pelvis.

Anatomy of the Pose

Focus on extending the spine towards head with each inhalation, and try to bend down with each exhalation.

Joint Actions: Spinal flexion (moving towards extension); sacrum nutation; hip flexion, adduction, internal rotation; knee extension; ankle slight dorsiflexion; scapula abduction, upward rotation; glenohumoral joint flexion, slight external rotation, adduction; elbow extension; forearm slight pronation.

Working

Gravity acts to pull the torso towards the top of the thighs.

Spine: Extensors can act to deepen action in the hip joints.

Legs : Vastii and articularis genus to extend knees.

Lengthening

Spine: Spinal extensors (if releasing into pose), latissimus dorsi.

Legs : Hamstrings, gluteus maximus, piriformis, obturator internus and gemelli, gluteus medius and minimus, gastrocnemius and soleus; popliteus works at length (eccentrically) to prevent hyperextension of the knees.

Arms : Rhomboids, lower trapezius, latissimus dorsi.

Breathing

Breathing can be very helpful while moving into this pose. Emphasizing the action of the exhalation deepens the flexion at the pelvis, whereas emphasizing the action of the inhalation assists in extending the upper spine. This will only occur if the exhalation is initiated with the lower abdominal muscles and the inhalation is directed towards the rib cage.

 

Therapeutic Applications

  • Calms the brain and helps relieve stress and mild depression
  • Stretches the spine, shoulders, hamstrings
  • Stimulates the liver, kidneys, ovaries, and uterus
  • Improves digestion
  • Helps relieve the symptoms of menopause and menstrual discomfort
  • Soothes headache and anxiety and reduces fatigue
  • Therapeutic for high blood pressure, infertility, insomnia, and sinusitis
  • Traditional texts say that Paschimottanasana increases appetite, reduces obesity, and cures diseases.

 

Basic Benefits:

  • Stimulates the Manipura Chakra and life energy.
  • Increases blood supply in the back.
  • Stretches the muscles of the back and along the back of the legs.
  • Activates kidney and pancreas function and aids in achieving a slim figure.

Contradictions and Cautions

Those having the following problems should observe caution:

  • Asthma
  • Diarrhea
  • Back injury: Only perform this pose under the supervision of an experienced teacher.

Beginner’s Tip

Never force yourself into a forward bend, especially when sitting on the floor. Coming forward, as soon as you feel the space between your pubis and navel shortening, stop, lift up slightly, and lengthen again. Often, because of tightness in the backs of the legs, a beginner’s forward bend doesn’t go very far forward and might look more like sitting up straight.

Variations

Urdhva Mukha Paschimottanasana (urdhva = upward; mukha = face)

Lie on your back, exhale, and bend your knees into your torso. Then inhale and extend the heels toward the ceiling. Slowly, on an exhalation, swing your feet toward the floor above your head. You may or may not be able to reach all the way to the floor. Try not to let the back of the pelvis lift very far from the floor—this is an upside-down version of Paschimottanasana, not Salamba Sarvangasana or Halasana.

 

Modifications

Most students may sit up on a folded blanket in this pose. Extremely stiff students can place a rolled up blanket under their knees.

Partnering

A partner can help you release your lower back in this pose. There are various ways partners can help each other:

  1. Have your partner stand behind you facing your back. Perform the pose – then have your partner press his/her hands against your lower back and pelvis. The hands should be turned so the fingers point towards your tailbone. Remember though that the pressure isn’t to push you deeper into the forward bend; rather, gentle pressure (parallel to the line of the back) encourages the back spine and tailbone to lengthen away from the torso. Extend the front torso against this downward action.
  2. Have your partner sit behind you, tailbone to tailbone, back to back. As you deepen your pose, your partner may extend arms up, staying in close contact all the time and release his/ her weight on to your back slowly, almost lying down on your back as you complete the pose. You can do the same for your partner later on.
  3. Another way to get help from a partner is sitting in front of each other, feet apposed, holding hands while getting into the pose and keep holding hands while gravity acts to deepen the pose. You can walk your hands up your partner’s arms to get deeper, while directing your weight down towards thighs.

Preparatory Poses

  • Balasana
  • Janu Sirasana
  • Uttanasana

Follow-Up Poses

  • Ardha Matsyendrasana

 

Tips for Your Practice

Improvement with this pose is a lengthy process! The changes may take years, and you may encounter many roadblocks where your resistance temporarily slows you down.

Focus your mind on relaxing into the pose instead of pushing into it with force and meeting resistance. Relax and let gravity act. Where and how you use your weight depends on how deep your existing forward bend already is. If you are only a few inches from your legs, let the weight of your chest take you down towards thighs. If you can’t get so close to your legs, hold your feet or big toes and gently ease into more depth.

Here again, the mind can intrude, resisting the surrender that is required to fully benefit from this manoeuvre. Explore the mental patterns you’re bringing to the asana—an urge to push or a tendency to give up and space out—and redirect your attention to the sensations of letting go. As you deepen your pose by doing less, you will recognize how emotions stored in the body can tighten the muscles and hold you back. Surrender mentally and you will just ease into greater depth.

Here is another technique to help free your spine. Cup the back of your head in your hands. Drop your elbows toward the floor and let your upper back spread. Then keep your shoulder blades wide as you inhale and raise your elbows, stretching them away from your sides. Press the back of your head into your hands as you open your chest and lengthen your torso forward. Expand this motion for several breaths and then release your elbows, chest, and head down again. You may find your forward bend to be both deeper and more extended.

As you progressively surrender, stop resisting mentally and start easing into the pose, your pose grows quieter, supported by your legs, stay in touch with the form of the pose by sending delicate physical reminders to yourself whenever you feel the discomfort of misalignment disturbing your inner focus. Keep your heels, legs, thighs and tailbone in contact with the earth and active and your hip joints flexed. Continue to deepen the sensation that your torso is at rest on your legs, allowing your belly to stay on your thighs, feeling it as liquid and cool. Let distractions diminish and blur into the background and immerse yourself completely into the inner terrain of the pose.

Sustaining this inner focus is always a challenge. At some point, it becomes meditation. You will become aware of the struggle as you oscillate between effort and surrender, distraction and attention. Slowly, the influence of your mind becomes more and more obvious. You may be surprised by your resistance to prolonging the pose, particularly if you are quite flexible but not accustomed to holding the pose for long. At this point, whatever your tendencies, the mental challenges you encounter are the most likely threats to deepening your practice. A host of emotions will play upon your mind, and you thought this was a mere hamstring stretch! As you deepen your pose, you’ll encounter struggles that create agitation and sabotage a balanced, sattvic experience. You are determined to stay, no matter what, even though your whole being is begging for relief!

Shift your focus to the inner rhythm of your breath. It will be your guide. You can benefit from each insight that accompanies the process. With time and practice, Paschimottanasana will become a prolonged, body-oriented meditation.

Paschimottanasana forces you to deal with your resistance, attachments and habits. It teaches you what to hold on to and strengthen and what to leave. Introspection tells you that the mind does constantly influence your yoga. You learn that asana is a way to develop the psychological hardiness that comes from meditation and enlightenment.

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