Vyagrasana - The Tiger Stretch Pose
Many yoga poses take inspiration from the observing the way animals move and stretch especially when getting up from a nap. Vyagrasana is a natural yogic pose to follow Marjariasana (cat stretch pose). In warming up and creating flow of energy in the body - it is important to flex the spine as it is the switchboard for the nervous system. Tiger stretch massages the lower organs of the body associated with your digestion, elimination and reproduction systems. The movement will release Vata in the stomach, pancreas, liver, as well as the small and large intestines. It can relieve sciatic pain done carefully and in addition creates muscle tone in the thighs and buttocks.
Guidance: Table top is the base position for both Marjariasana and Vyagrasana. Start in Table Top coming onto your hands and knees where the palms are flat with hands under the shoulders and knees directly below the hips. Start by relaxing in this pose by taking 10 long deep breaths. Then exhale all the air out as you bend your right knee and bring it to your forehead pressing the thigh towards the chest. Slowly inhale and swing the right leg back as you arch lifting the head up and pointing the toe towards the back of the head. This is one round. Then exhale slowly and draw the knee towards the forehead again repeating the movement. Do ten rounds on each side. The awareness is on the breath and fluidity of movement.
In India, the Tiger is considered to the King of the jungle – a national symbol of power, strength, grace and agility. On an outer level, the tiger gives us strength and the courage and fortitude to overcome all obstacles and behave fearlessly. Those qualities are inherent in asana itself and with intention we can experience those as part of ourselves in the way we move.
Remedial Measure: The tiger along with the lion is also associated as the vehicle of Durga who can be called upon to propitiate Rahu. Chant the mantra of Durga ( Om Dum Durgaiye Namaha) as you do the asana and then the practice becomes an offering while in the roller coaster ride of a Rahu dasa, bhukti or transit.
|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