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Kayakalpa Yoga Poses

by
author image Henry Halse
Henry Halse is a Philadelphia-based personal trainer, speaker, and writer. He's trained a wide variety of people, from couch potatoes to professional athletes, and helped them realize their own strength, determination and self-confidence. Henry has also written for various fitness and lifestyle publications, including Women’s Health, AskMen and Prevention.
Kayakalpa Yoga Poses
Kayakalpa yoga includes many different yogic techniques. Photo Credit Rawpixel Ltd/iStock/Getty Images

Few styles of yoga boast the same benefits of Kayakalpa, which translates to "immortal body." This ancient form of yoga, which was practice by the "siddhas," or saints, of Southern India, is said to be able to curb the side effects of aging. Kayakalpa yoga is an all-encompassing style of living, not just a physical practice, which includes other styles of yoga such as Kundalini.

There are two techniques that Kayakalpa yogis use during breathing techniques and physical postures that make their practice unique: Aswini Mudra and Ojas Breath. They are meant to be used during the daily Kayakalpa routine of seven different poses, but can be used in other breathing and physical practices as well.

Aswini Mudra and Ojas Breath

The Aswini Mudra and Ojas Breath are pelvic floor techniques that help channel your vital life energy, which includes sexual energy, throughout your body for healing. This is thought to help with signs of aging and diseases. There has even been speculation that practicing these techniques can help with hormonal imbalances that cause conditions like Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, although the scientific jury is still out on that.

Kayakulpa practice should begin after the age of fourteen, which is when someone is considered physically mature enough to begin. You shouldn't try these techniques on a full stomach, preferably before you eat or four hours after. You should not try these techniques if you have had any recent surgeries around your groin, pelvis, or lower abdomen, because they will increase pressure in that area.

Read More: Yoga Poses for Pelvic Floor Strengthening

Aswini Mudra

The Aswini Mudra is designed to help reverse the aging process that Kayakalpa yogis believe is brought about by the rotation of the earth pulling against our bodies. It is thought of as an exercise in "toning up the nerves" of the body. It can be practiced in sets of 10 to 20 reps throughout the day when you are exercising, meditating, or simply sitting and standing somewhere.

To practice the Aswini Mudra, contract your pelvic diaphragm muscles. To do this, squeeze the muscles that you would use to stop urinating. Squeeze them fully and then release them. Do this 10 to 20 times and then take a break for at least two to three hours.

Ojas Breath

To perform this breathing technique, start by squeezing your pelvic diaphram and anal sphincter (the muscles you squeeze when you really have to go to the bathroom). As you squeeze them, take a slow and deep breath in and out of your nose. After you breathe out, you can release the contracted muscles.

Daily Exercises

When you are first beginning your Kayakulpa practice, you should do the exercises in the daily routine and practice an Ojas Breath during each one. After a week, you can do two Ojas Breaths during each exercise, but that is the maximum amount that is recommended.

Of the seven recommended daily exercises, there are three to be performed in the morning, one at lunch time, two in the evening and one at night when you lie down to sleep.

Morning Exercises

For the first morning exercise, stand tall with your feet shoulder-width and feet turned in towards each other. Place your hands on your hips. Here you can do one Ojas Breath as you reach your arms overhead.

For the second exercise, you sit with your butt on your heels, tops of your feet flat on the floor and upper body tall. Place your hands on your thighs and rest briefly. Perform an Ojas Breath at any time.

You can practice the Aswini Mudra or Ojas Breath in many different positions.
You can practice the Aswini Mudra or Ojas Breath in many different positions. Photo Credit fizkes/iStock/Getty Images

The third morning exercise is different for men and women. Men should lie down on their backs and plant their feet on the ground. Then, they should cross their ankles over each other and lift their legs off the ground with their knees bent and reach between their legs to grasp one ankle in each hand. Holding their feet, they should rock slightly forward and backward, gently rolling their back over the floor. While they do that they should practice an Ojas Breath.

Women lie on the ground in a similar position with their feet planted and ankles crossed. They then place their hands together over their stomach in a prayer position and perform an Ojas Breath.

Lunchtime Exercise

The fourth exercise, to be performed at lunchtime, is sitting cross-legged on the ground with the eyes closed and focusing on the breath. During this time you can practice an Ojas Breath and any style of meditation that you enjoy.

Read More: Men's Pelvic Floor Exercises

Evening Exercises

The fifth exercise, an evening exercise, is a shoulder stretch. Stand next to a wall and lean one shoulder against it. Raise that arm up against the wall as high as you can and lean into the wall, stretching your shoulder. Then, switch sides. As you stretch your arm, practice and Ojas Breath.

The sixth exercise is the same as the second exercise, but now it's done in the evening.

Bedtime Exercise

The seventh exercise, to be practiced when you get into bed, is Savasana, or Corpse pose. You lie on your back with your legs straight, feet turned out and palms facing up. Perform an Ojas Breath in this position.

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