Ashwa Sanchalanasana - Equestrian Pose
Surya Namaskara, the practice of Sun Salutations is made of 12 postures, as each is dedicated to a different constellation of the zodiac, these represent the form. The practice generates prana and the rhythm and cycles of nature are reflected in the number of postures. One round or a right and left side (24 postures) are the hours in a day or a cycle of the sun. Equestrian Pose is the fourth and ninth posture in the series. Ashwa means horse and Sanchalasana is rider posture.
As a lunge, the right angle of the front bent knee represents the yantra of the earth. In the series the spiritual focus is the 3rd eye and the mantra is “Om Bhanave Namaha” – Salutations to He who illumines. The Sun represents the Guru and in the first equestrian pose we focus at the 3rd eye to receive the wisdom of the Sun as teacher. In the 9th pose the mantra is “Om Adityaya Namaha” – Salutations to the Son of Aditi, Cosmic Mother. Aditi is one the names of Mahashakti, the cosmic mother and the sun (son) is one of her manifestations.
This pose improves digestion by massaging the abdominal organs, strengthens the legs muscles, stretches the psoas – a deep set of muscles that are generally shortened due to chronic forward bending movement and builds balance in the nervous system. It benefits low back pain, sciatica, menstrual difficulties, and osteoporosis.
Guidance: Start in Tadasana (Mountain pose) and fold forward bringing the hands to the feet in Uttanasana (Forward Fold) and then bring the left foot back, top of the foot on the mat while bending the right knee into a right angle. Lightly touching with the fingertips, inhale as you straighten the right leg, rounding the spine and relaxing the chin towards the chest. As you exhale, bend the right knee into the yantra of the earth as you lift the heart…consciously moving the knee forward as the toes of the back foot reach in the opposite direction which creates a dynamic stretch in the lunge. Stay in the position and chant Om Bhanave Namaha. Do this movement slowly with breath and awareness 5-10 times on one side and then alternate with the left leg leading. After exhaling into Equestrian, chant ‘Om Adityaya Namaha” keeping the focus at the 3rd eye.
After completing both sides sit on your heels in Vajrasana (thunderbolt position) and meditate observing the sensations and movement of prana in the body.
|Ruth Hartung, (Sraddhasagar) co-founded 7 Centers Yoga Arts in Sedona in 1998. Prior to that, she taught Kundalini yoga for 7 years in studios in Los Angeles and Seattle. She initiated with the Bihar School of Yoga under Swami Niranjanananda in Mungyr, India in 1994. She is the Director of 7 Centers Yoga Arts, and has served as President of the International Yoga College, founded by Rama Jyoti Vernon, her mentor and teacher.|
Ruth is a practitioner of Vipassana meditation as taught by S.N. Goenka, and has taught yoga for 17 years. She is currently a board member for Gardens for Humanity and actively involved in organizing the Sedona Farmers market, community gardens as part of a grass-roots agricultural movement in Northern Arizona.
Sraddhasagar's Contact Information:
7 Centers Yoga Arts, Sedona AZ