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Iyengar Pratica Scienza

18 Dicembre 2022

Winter Immune - part 2

Chiara M. Travisi - illustrated by Svenja Karstens

After the standing asana practice, the second half of the sequence is focused on inversions with the aim of boosting fluid circulation, organic vascularization and balancing the so-called hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal (HPA) axis. Thus, the sequence requires the practitioner to remain for long in an inverted position. Body fluids circulation is boosted, thus facilitating an efficient circulation of immune components too. Besides, inverted positions are able to modulate the two branches of the Autonomic Nervous System, either creating a dominance of the sympathetic versus the parasympathetic branch or the other way around. Interestingly, even in back extension yog-asanas – in which the anterior thoracic spine elongates thus creating a mechanical stimulation of the sympathetic ganglia – the practitioner can still maintain a dominance of the parasympathetic branch. Exhalation is paramount in this respect.

Part 2 begins the inverted practice with Adho Mukha Svanasana with head support. The back “half-moon” of the crown of the head is resting on a soft support (blanket or bolster) as it would be in Sirsasana. A gentle pression on that specific spot relaxes the brain and senses organs. The belt at the arms gives stability to the elbows and allows to maintain the pose for longer. The following Adho Mukha Vriksasana is performed with wedges to elevate the wrists and create a nice feeling of lightness in the pose which should be kept even in the free stand version away from the wall. The last variation requires to place the back of the legs on the wall, sliding them down and have the sacrum parallel to the floor. Shoulder blades and armpits receive a nice opening while the thoracic spine is toned.  

Winter Immune - part 2


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