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Durvasasana is a balancing pose with one leg behind the head or neck. The hands are held together in front of the heart in a prayer position. It is also called Utthana Eka Pada Sirsasana, standing foot to head pose. It combines strength, balance and flexibility. This posture comes from the Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga third series and is named after sage Durvasa, known for his anger. As it is an advanced pose with a deep hip opening, it may require months, sometimes years, of constant practice to achieve this posture. The preparation can start from a simple hip opening trial like Shishupalasana to the Eka Pada Sirsasana sitting posture and its variations before you master the hip opening and the balance. Senior Yoga Teacher Bhushan Bhukte, Heartfulness Yoga Academy shares that practice and patience are the keys!
This posture should be attempted only after you master the seated preparatory Eka Pada Sirsasana. Make sure you have an excellent warm-up practice before taking these steps.
Sit with legs stretched out while erecting the back, hands beside the body, and toes active.
Keeping a soft bend on your right knee and inhale, catch your left leg with both hands and bring it to shoulder level.
While exhaling, round your back, pull your left leg up and place it behind your neck (or shoulder blade).
When you feel comfortable, you can place your hands in Namaskar in front of the heart. This is Eka Pada Sirsasana, the first step.
Now, place both hands on the floor, bend the right knee and come to a squat, holding your balance with the help of your hands.
Exhale. Get ready to slowly come up, pressing the palms on the right thigh, pulling the trunk up and gradually standing up on the right leg. You may want to attempt this with a person next to you.
Inhale and stretch the waist and chest up. Gaze up at one point in front of you to keep your balance.
Once you feel ready, fold the hands in front of the heart in a prayer position and balance the body on the right leg.
Hold the posture as long as you feel comfortable.
From the head to the toes, scan your body, breathe consciously, and try to relax in the posture. Then gently bring your attention to the heart and stay here.
To come out of the posture, inhale, and as you exhale, slowly sit down in the same manner, back to Eka Pada Sirsasana and, with the help of your hands, bring your leg down.
Relax before you repeat the same with the other leg.
Add a few counter postures before you end your practice.
To further benefit from this posture, end your practice with a Heartfulness relaxation, feeling the energy of Mother Earth entering your feet and going up the body, relaxing each part of your body till the top of the head.
Excellent hip opener; it combines strength with flexibility.
It's a great stretching for your hips, hamstrings, and glutes, working on flexibility and mobility.
Strengthens the muscular, nervous and circulatory systems.
Sage Durvasa's Pose improves balance and concentration.
Helps reduce fatigue and stress, promotes mindful breathing and makes you feel relaxed and calm.
This practice is only for advanced practitioners. Please practice with the help of an experienced yoga teacher.
Avoid Durvasana if you have any injury, pain, or medical history in your knees, hips, neck or back.
If you suffer from an abdominal hernia, please avoid this posture.
Women must avoid the practice during their pregnancy and menstrual cycle.
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