What: Bakasana/ Crow pose
How it changed my life: “The crow pose was the first time I paid attention to my core; physical, emotional and spiritual. After a long spell of breakdowns and mental dullness, I knew I needed deep cleansing. Crow gave me the strength to clean up—it made me love myself and be confident. I needed to uproot the fears, frustration and anger from my being and shine from my deepest self. Bakasana gave me that inner glow. This pose also improved my posture and digestion. It helped me tone my belly and arms.”
What: Urdhva Dhanurasana off the ropes.
How it changed my life: “I’ve been practicing Iyengar Yoga for years and I must say that this form of yoga allows the practitioner to explore and open the body safely through the use of props, and helps you develop an innate understanding of the self and your capabilities. I love the Urdhva Dhanurasana off the ropes because of how it stretches the spine deeply, leaving you feeling open and energetic. The abdominal organs are massaged, toned and rejuvenated while the shoulders are stretched and you can feel the blood reaching the brain. Iyengar Yoga has been life transforming for me. As my practice advanced, my body became a gateway for spiritual growth, enabling me to ground my mind and emotions through my breath. I came into a more mindful state of being, irrespective of the circumstances around me.”
What: One-legged king pigeon
How it changed my life: “The one-legged king pigeon pose helps me feel balanced and adds elegance to my posture. Yoga is the one thing that keeps me sane. It's like mental detox. When I get into this pose, I feel strong, free and positive. Other than that, this pose stretches almost the entire body; working the thighs, groin, psoas, abdomen, chest and shoulders.”
What: Dancer's pose (Mermaid Variation)
How it changed my life: “This pose makes me feel more grounded as with this posture, you grip into mother earth and take her energy to balance yourself. After getting into this posture, I feel like my chest cavity opens up and I receive amazing confidence as if I’m communicating directly with the universe. This pose is also a great heart opener. It is because of this pose that I have been able to surrender all the things that are not serving or any good to my life.”
How it changed my life: “I began yoga as a teenager to relax my mind and curb my anxiety attacks. Meditation played a vital role in eliminating my anxiety over the years. Now as I sit in sukhasana, I dissolve all thoughts in my mind and have nothing to worry about. I’m hoping that one day I’ll sit comfortably enough to reach samadhi.”
What: Uthita Hasta Padangusthasana
How it changed my life: “I often struggle with aching joints and nerves and it restricts me from doing certain poses for a while. The pose, Uthita Hasta Padangusthasana is a constant struggle because of an old knee injury. My struggle is a constant reminder to keep my ego in check. This pose has taught me so much. I've come so far on in it, but I still have so far to go.”
What: Ek Pada Chakrasana
How it changed my life: “This pose is a heart-opening back bending pose. This asana opens you up to the world. It has taught me to let go of my fears and embrace vulnerability. Holding this asana for a minute everyday has helped me with my breathing as it opens the chest and improves the functioning of lungs."
Written by Chandni Ghosh on Sep 23, 2015