Some love the hip openers while others dislike it, but hip opener yoga poses are damn good for your health–physical, mental, and energetical. The wide assortment of hip-opening yoga poses help release the trapped emotions in the posterior and other areas, easing the tight hamstrings, while stretching the muscles in and around the hips.
Hamsasana (Swan Pose) from the Sanskrit word “Hamsa” meaning the ‘Swan’. The two words ‘Ham’ and ‘Sa’ represent the breath and spirit respectively fortifying the health and welcoming renewal. Practicing the Hamsa breath while performing the Swan Pose strengthens the entire torso and improves the internal functioning of the body organs.
Here are the instructions for performing the Hamsasana (Swan Pose):
1. Warm up your body by practicing a few other hip-opening yoga poses. Start on your fours. Bend the right knee and place it between your hands with the right heel close to the left hips.
2. Lengthen the left leg back. Place the hands beneath the shoulders and evenly distribute the weight across the palms.
3. Press the left thigh firmly into the floor and use the Mulbandha to safeguard your lower back.
4. Inhale and lift the chest up towards the sky and bring your torso into a swan lift.
5. Perform Hamsa breathing while in the pose and feel the emotions releasing from the hips and energy floating towards the knees.
6. Hinge forward from the hips and dive into the swan pose. Keep the spine long and experience a deeper stretch in the glutes.
7. Grasp the opposite elbows and rest the forehead on it with your hands on the mat.
8. Release the pose by bringing the right knee under the hips and coming in a table-top position.
Alternatives to Swan Pose:
1. Practitioners can place their hands straight on the yoga mat or can come on their elbows instead of folding their hands.
2. Practitioners with greater flexibility can lay their chest over the shins for a deeper fold.
3. Protect the front knee by keeping the foot flexed before coming forward.
4. Use a folded blanket under the hips to become stable in the pose.
Reap the Benefits of Swan Pose by practicing it.
1. Opens the Hips: Let the gravity of the earth work its magic in releasing the stored tensions and vigorously opening the hips as you perform the swan yoga posture. The hamsasana opens the tight posterior and brings a sense of release. There are about 20 muscles that cross the hips and the swan pose attends each of them ensuring their health and wellbeing.
2. Gentle Massage: The forward fold in the swan pose gives a gentle massage to the abdominal organs, specifically the digestive system, thereby healing the sluggish digestion and digestive problems such as constipation, bloating, acidity, and more. It is the pose to tone and stimulate the abdominal organs.
3. Healthy Psoas Muscles: Psoas muscles are located on the lumbar region of the vertebral column and on the lesser pelvis. As the practitioners of the pose bend in the front direction from the hips, they feel a deep stretch in the psoas muscles and along the left thigh ensuring their health and flexibility necessary for easy movements.
4. Flexible Gluteal Muscles: The Gluteal muscles are found in the hips and are responsible for the extension, abduction, internal-external rotation of the posterior. While working on the hips, the hamsasana conditions the gluteal muscles and increases its flexibility enhancing its functions.
5. Healthy Lymph Nodes: One of the health benefits of hamsasana is its ability to stretch and detoxify the lymph nodes in the groin region of the body. Lymph nodes are an integral part of the lymphatic system, a component of the immune system. Healthy lymph node promotes stronger immunity. Swollen lymph nodes indicate infection and can be holistically healed with the practice of swan pose.
6. Stimulates Gallbladder:The Hamsasana targets the Gallbladder in a healthy way ensuring its proper functioning. The gallbladder is responsible for storing the fats needed in the digestion of the fats found in the foods.
While in the pose, play with the head movements, placement of the hands to stimulate the chakras, to reward the body organs and to garner the benefits of swan pose.
To know about Hamsasana in further detail, explore our Yoga Teacher Training In India.