Seated Parvatasana / Mountain Pose :
Seated Parvatasana / Mountain Pose is one of my favourite poses that I learned at the Pawan Dham Yoga Institute & the Yoga Institute during my 200 hours & 900 hours Teacher's Training Course. It's a gentle cleansing massage to all your internal organs, more like a daily detox.
It's been 4 years now that I have been practising this asana daily & I'm really grateful for the blessings & benefits of it that I have experienced in my life. It's my pleasure to share this Asana with all of you.
Parvatasana is a Cultural Asanas for lateral (upward) stretch of the spine. It is beneficial for mental, physical, emotional and spiritual growth & development. As the name suggests, it derives the benefits from the qualities of a mountain / parvata. Namely Stability, Fixity & Strength. Just like a mountain withstands storms, rain, hailstones, snow, sunshine & harsh weather's for decades, If grounded well, We too can withstand all hurdles in life.
This posture has 3 variations to provide all round stretch and twist to spine.
A. Starting position to this Classical pose:
1. Sit in Padmasana / Sukhasana, keeping the hands at their respective sides. Chest thrown well forward, keep the neck straight, the abdomen in normal contour, the chin drawn in and eyes focused on a single point straight ahead.
Sequence of steps:
1. Inhaling, In 3 seconds, raise both the arms together, from their respective sides for an upward stretch.
2. Join the palms to each other in this upward stretched position of arms.
* Either interlace the fingers or keep the palms joined.
* Keep the handsands close to the respective ears, abdomen maintained in normai contour and back straight.
* Avoid bending the arms at the elbows and wrists, keeping.them stretched and
straight. Gaze fixed at a single point ahead.
3. Maintain this fully stretched position (palms joined), for 6 seconds, retaining the
breath (final position).
4. Returning to starting position: exhaling, in 3 seconds, first turn the palm position outwards and then keeping the arms straight, bring it down to the sides to complete 1 round.
Recommended practice: Practice 4 rounds without pause.
Starting position same as A :
1. Sit in starting position as mentioned above.
2. Raise both the arms together from their respective sides to join the palms, keeping the hands straight, close to the ears.
Fingers can be interlaced or palms joined.
Sequence of steps:
1. Inhaling, in 3 seconds, bend to the right, keeping the head between the arms. Let the spine arch sideways, with no movement below the waist.
2. Immediately, exhaling, return to the centre position, in 3 seconds.
3. Inhaling, in 3 seconds, repeat to the left to complete 1 round.
Starting position. Same as A
Sequence of steps:
1. Exhaling, twist your spine pivoting from lower end of spine towards the right side, maintaining fixity below the waist. This is an axial movement; hence maintain the upper torso as one unit while twisting. Complete this step, in 3 seconds, while exhaling.
2. Immediately, inhaling, untwist the spine and return to centre position, in 3 seconds.
3. Exhaling, now twist towards left, as explained in step 1, above, in 3 seconds.
4. Inhaling, immediately untwist the spine and return to centre position, in 3 seconds.
Starting position: same as A.
Sequence of steps:
1. Inhaling, bend backwards keeping the head locked in between the arms. Let the spine arch backwards, with no movement below the waist. Complete this step, in 3 seconds, while inhaling.
2. Immediately, exhaling, start bending forward (waist up) keeping the head locked in between the arms. Let the spine arch forward, with no movement below the waist, to bring the body parallel to the ground. Complete this step, in 3 seconds, while exhaling.
3. Maintain this forward stretched position for 6 seconds, suspending the breath (final position).
4. Inhaling, lift the head and arms and return to the centre position, in 3 seconds.
Returning to starting position (for the variations): exhaling, in 3 seconds, first turn
the palm position outwards and then, keeping the arms straight, bring it down to the
sides to complete 1 cycle of the above variations.
Recommended practice (for all variations): Complete 1 cycle each of every variation, without pause. Practice total 2 cycles of the above variations.
Limitations / Contraindications:
1. People suffering from spinal injury and spinal abnormalities.
2. Frozen shoulder and arthritis.
3. Hypertension and serious cardiac complaints (especially Variation-3)
Benefits of the Seated Parvatasana :
1. Corrects minor postural defects of the spine and straightens the muscles of the back.
2. Stretches all the abdominal and pelvic muscles and loosens the hips.
3. Exercises the inactive waist zone, and helps reduce fatty and flabby abdomen.
4. Unnatural curvature of the spine and minor displacements of the vertebrae are corrected.
5. Internal organs in the abdominal region get proper massage-improved blood circulation; viscera rest normally on the pelvic floor.
6. Prolapse (slipping down) of the uterus is improved by providing natural support to the viscera.
7. Blood circulation in the vertebral region improves and the efficiency of the nerves coming out of the vertebra is improved.
8. Improves body balance and posture.
9. Enhances the functioning of the internal organs.
10. When you practice this regularly, then your body becomes strong and the looseness of the body also gets removed.
11. Parvatsana also removes tension in the shoulders and back
12.This asana benefits both men and women alike, and full benefit can be obtained in the disease of premature ejaculation.
13. This pose activates the heart chakra which helps one to feel sensations of deep love and peace.
Don’t practice this pose’s full extension in case you have carpal tunnel syndrome since it places much stress on hands and the wrists. Rather, modify this posture by resting the forearms on the ground instead of holding your body up with the hands.
When you do this asana, you should not be bowed down at your hands, keep your waist and hands fingers straight.
During practice, if you find any pain or discomfort, please exit the pose and ask for the expert’s guidance and doctor’s advice.
Sources : Yoga Cyclopedia Vol. 1