Inversions

YOGA ASANAS :
“INVERSIONS” FAMILY

 

In the “Inversions” family,
each of the six Asanas is featured using the same design

Adho mukha śvānāsana

# 33, plate 75, page 110 ( «Light on Yoga» BKS. Iyengar. Aquarian/Thorsons. Harper Collins India. Schocken books, New York ). 
# 33, plate 75, page 110 (« The illustrated light on Yoga » BKS Iyengar. Harper Collins India ).
# 14, plate 22, page 138  ( «Yoga, a gem for women», Geeta S Iyengar. Allied publishers, India ).

Adho: Downwards.
Mukha: Face.
Śvāna: Dog.

A downward facing dog. This āsana is called after its shape.

It is featured in the inverted poses family, but it could belong to forward bends, standing poses or balancing on the hands.

 

 

Halāsana

# 91, plates 238/249, page 216 ( «Light on Yoga» BKS. Iyengar. Aquarian/Thorsons. HarperCollins India. Schocken books, New York ).
# 41, plates 109/116, page 95 (« The illustrated light on Yoga » BKS Iyengar. HarperCollins India ).
# 48, plates 88 /91, page 201 ( «Yoga, a gem for women», Geeta S Iyengar. Allied publishers, India ).

Hala : Plough. The poses takes its name from the shape of the body.

 

 

Pārśvōttānāsana

# 12, plates 24/28, page 78 ( «Light on Yoga» BKS. Iyengar. Aquarian/Thorsons. Harper Collins India. Schocken books, New York ).
# 6, plates 11/14, page 46 (« The illustrated light on Yoga » BKS Iyengar.  HarperCollins India ).
# 10, plate 15, Page 133 ( «Yoga, a gem for women», Geeta S Iyengar. Allied publishers, India ).

Pārśva: Side, flank.
Ut: Intense.
Tān: To stretch, lengthen.

In this pose one of the chests is intensely stretched.

We have again an «elision»: The last syllab of a word desappears when placed before the first syllab of the next word. Thus Pārśva-Uttānāsana becomes Pārśvōttānāsana

Pārśvōttānāsana, just as Adho Mukha Śvānāsana, is altogether a standing pose, an inverted pose and a forward bend. It belongs to several families. 

 

 

Uttanāsāna

# 20, plate 47, page 92 ( «Light on Yoga» BKS. Iyengar. Aquarian/Thorsons. Harper Collins India. Schocken books, New York ).
# 11, plate 25, page 52 (« The illustrated light on Yoga » BKS Iyengar.  Harper Collins India ).
# 13, plate 21 Page 137 ( «Yoga, a gem for women», Geeta S Iyengar. Allied publishers, India ).

Ut: Means intensity, a strong intention.
Tān: To stretch.
Uttānāsana: To stretch intensely, presently downward while standing.

You will meet Ut/Uttānāsana in: Utthita trikoṇāsana &  Pārśvakoṇāsana, Pārśvōttānāsana, Paschimottānāsana, Pūrvottānāsana

This is called an elision: The last syllab of a word desappears when placed before the first syllab of the next word. Thus Paschima (the west) – Uttānāsana becomes Paschimottānāsana etc…

Uttānāsana, just as Adho Mukha Śvānāsana,  is altogether a standing pose, an inverted pose and a forward bend. It belongs to several families. It could be classified as well as a restorative pose.

 

Sālamba Śirṣāsana

# 74, plates 176/218, page 178 ( «Light on Yoga» BKS. Iyengar. Aquarian/Thorsons. HarperCollins India. Schocken books, New York ).
# 38, plates 83/97, page 83 (« The illustrated light on Yoga » BKS Iyengar.  HarperCollins India ).
# 38, plates 69/70, page 180 ( «Yoga, a gem for women», Geeta S Iyengar. Allied publishers, India ).

 

Sālamba: With support (of hands and arms, as opposed to Nirālamba, without support).
Śirṣa: The head.

This is the head balance.

 

 


Sālamba Sarvāngāsana

# 87, plates 219/271, page 205 ( «Light on Yoga» BKS. Iyengar. Aquarian/Thorsons. Harper Collins India. Schocken books, New York ).
# 40, plates 98/125, page 90 (« The illustrated light on Yoga » BKS Iyengar. Harper Collins India ).
 # 47, plate 84, page 197 ( «Yoga, a gem for women», Geeta S Iyengar. Allied publishers, India ).

Sālamba : With support (of hands and arms, as opposed to Nirālamba, without support).
Sarva : All, whole… Sometimes used in holy scriptures to express the Absolute.
Aṅga : Limb, body, a part. You can find Aṅga in Aṣṭānga Yoga, Chaturaṅga Daṇḍāsana, Pādānguṣṭhāsana

Sarvānga : the whole body.

Sarvāngāsana  means that this āsana is beneficial to the whole body.