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Say Goodbye to Stress with Paschim Namaskarasana

You don’t have to be as flexible as Madhuri Dixit to start practising yoga. There are yoga practices that can be tried and followed by just anyone; the Paschim Namaskarasana is one such pose. The name comes from the Sanskrit words Paschim (meaning west but in this case, it means the back), namaskar (greeting) and asana (pose). Loosely translated, it means the Reverse Prayer Pose. Another name for this pose is Viparita Namaskarasana. It works on the upper body, mainly the arms, shoulders and the chest area.

Say Goodbye to Stress with Paschim Namaskarasana

How to do the Paschim Namaskarasana

  • Stand with your legs an inch apart. You can stand on the ground or use a yoga mat.
  • Relax your torso and shoulders, allowing your hands to rest by your sides.
  • Bend your knees a little.
  • Start raising your arms behind you, coming up to your back.
  • As your palms come together, keep the fingers pointing downwards.
  • Inhale and turn your fingertips towards each other and your spine. Proceed to extend them, so they face upwards.
  • Stay in this position for 20-30 seconds.
  • Exhale and start turning your fingertips downward.
  • Slowly release your hands and let them fall to your sides as you come back to the starting position.

Things to keep in mind while doing this asana:

  • Remember to bend your knees (very little) before you start raising your arms behind your back.
  • When your fingers touch and face upwards, make sure they are securely pressed against each other and that your knees remain bent.
  • For beginners, it may be difficult to connect the palms. They can simply hold each elbow with the opposite hand at first and then proceed to join the palms after some practice.

Benefits of the Paschim Namaskarasana

  • It also opens up the abdomen and allows you to take deeper breaths.
  • The backwards pose is said to strengthen the wrist tendons and is good for those who work too much time with the mouse or who have carpal tunnel syndrome or any wrist pain.
  • It helps loosen out tight shoulders and can give relief to those suffering from shoulder or neck pain.
  • This pose calms the mind and helps beat stress.

Caution

  • This pose should be avoided by people who have arm or shoulder injuries.
  • It is not recommended for those with low blood pressure.
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References

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  • Reverse Prayer Pose (Paschim Namaskarasana). Art of Living.org. https://www.artofliving.org/in-en/yoga/yoga-poses/reverse-prayer-pose
  • Yoga Therapy, Ayurveda, and Western Medicine: A Healthy Convergence. By MD Facs Cap C Dilip Sarkar

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