Yoga is one of the most ancient methods of wellness. This mental, physical, and spiritual practice finds its trace even during the 4th century BCE. In fact, some of the yoga poses get their names from ancient sages and Hindu gods as well.
One such ancient yoga pose is Kapilasana. This challenging forward bend and fold pose requires a great deal of flexibility and strength. This is why it is recommended for intermediate and advanced level yoga experts. That being said, practice and patience can also make this pose easy for beginners. You just have to understand all its basics and learn the pose from a yoga expert.
In case you have been planning to perform Kapilasana, we have the perfect guide for you. From explaining what is Kapilasana to its steps and benefits, we have tried to gather every possible information about this ancient pose. So, make sure you read it till the end.
What is Kapilasana?
Kapilasana, or Kapila pose as it is often called, is a hip opener pose wherein you have to bend your body forward in a sitting pose and then stretch your legs to put them behind your head.
This yoga pose gets its name from a famous Hindu sage Maharishi Kapil. He was the founder of Samkhya school of philosophy that believes in Dualism. It says that there are only two realities – Purusha (Man) and Prakriti (Nature). This philosophy also inspired the schools of yoga. As per Samkhya Yoga, you can learn the poses to understand the language of yoga and then find a new dimension to delve deeper into your own self.
Coming back to Kapilasana, it is a posture from the fourth series of Ashtanga yoga. Just like Buddhasana, it is also one of the deepest postures for external rotation of the hip. Kapila Pose also helps you in focusing on your body and concentrating on the self. But to attain that position or state of mind, you need to perform the Kapila pose with great dedication and patience. It is suggested that you should always seek guidance from a yoga trainer who has an expertise in Kapilasana to learn the best way to perform it.
Other than this, you should also perform various other poses and stretching exercises to prepare your body for Kapilasana. Since it is a deep and intense stretch of the body, preparing your body allows your muscles to become more flexible and mobile. Some of the poses that you can do before performing Kapilasana are Dandasana or the Staff Pose, Paschimottanasana or Seated Forward Bend, or Yoga Mudrasana or Psychic Union Pose.
You can also talk to your yoga instructor at the gym or during online yoga classes to suggest you other preparatory poses and how to do them.
How to do Kapilasana: Step-by-Step Guide
Now that you know the basics of this yoga pose, it is time to learn how to perform it the right way. Below is a step-by-step guide that is followed by yoga experts to achieve this pose. Keep reading:
- Start the pose by coming into Adho Mukho Svanasana or the Downward Dog Pose. Keep all four limbs on the floor. Press your palms and feet to straighten your legs so that your body makes an upside “V” pose.
- Now, jump and raise your legs up while keeping the knees bent. At this position, your whole body weight will be on your palms just like a handstand.
- Gently lower the legs and pull them in a forward stretch like Dandasana or the Staff Pose.
- Keep your toes pointed and instead of putting both legs forward, let only left leg spread forward. Hold your right leg with both your hands, bend it and place it over your shoulder so that the right heels rest on your left shoulder. The bend should not cross the right arm but should go behind the back.
- Hold the left leg’s toes with your left hand and keep the right hand on the floor by the side with palms pressing on the floor.
- Twist your body a bit towards the left and then hold the right leg’s toes by wrapping the left hand around it. Roll your shoulders backwards to loop it over the foot and then clasp it with your right hand by also bending it backwards.
- Exhale and then do a forward bend so that your chin touches your leg. Hold this pose for at least 5 breaths.
- To release the pose, raise your torso to return to the vertical position and then release the clasp of the hands. Slowly, keep the foot behind the head and place the hands on the floor. Lift your body in Chakroasana. Exhale and then float the leg back and stretch your body like an Urdhva Mukha Svanasana or Upward facing dog pose and then return to the Downward Dog Pose.
One of the most famous variations of Kapilasana is Buddasana. It is done in the same way. You just do not have to bend your body forward. For other variations, seek guidance from an expert.
Benefits Of Kapilasana
Here are some of the most effective benefits of Kapilasana you should be aware of:
- Helps in stretching legs, hamstrings, arms, chest, back, and shoulder muscles
- Strengthens the muscles by improving blood flow
- Helps in learning how to cultivate a calm and chaos-free mind
- Improves the meditative state
- Maintains the five chakras of muladhara, svadisthana, manipura, anahata and visuddha
- Effectively improves body’s stability and coordination
Precautions and Safety Tips
Below are some precautions to take while practising Kapilasana:
- Do not perform this yoga, if you have heart issues or have any neck, back, or shoulder injury.
- Pregnant women and those who have just given birth must not do this pose.
- If you notice any pain or sprain during this yoga, slowly stop it.
- Do not eat a heavy meal at least an hour before this yoga.
- Have patience and perform each step correctly and slowly to avoid any injury.
- This is not yoga for beginners. So, if you are new to yoga, do not try this at your home workouts.
Kapilasana is challenging and that is why it should be done with proper training and guidance. But once you have mastered it, you can achieve high fitness goals that are not just alignment with your physical health but also your mental and spiritual health.
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