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Vishvamitrasana by Caroline Klebl

Vishvamitrasana is dedicated to one of the most venerated rishis(seers) of ancient India. He is credited as the main author of the 3rd mandala of the Rig Veda, which includes the Gayatri Mantra. The Gayatri mantra is dedicated to Savitri, the sun deity. Monier-Williams translated the Gayatri mantra as “Let us meditate on that excellent glory of the divine vivifying Sun. May Savitri enlighten our understandings.”

Vishvamitrasana is the second pose of the 3rd series of ashtanga yoga. From adho mukha shvanasana, downward facing dog pose, exhale step the left foot forward in front of the left hand around the outside of the left arm. Simultaneously rotate the right leg externally, keeping the leg straight, until the sole of the right foot is on the floor. Reach the left upper arm underneath the left thigh, until the thigh is on the top of the upper arm. Straighten the left leg and point the left toes. Shift the weight of the body into the left hand. Inhale, raise the right arm and reach it up to the sky with the palm of the right hand facing right. Straighten the left arm and look up to the right thumb. Breathe deeply for five breaths. Place the right hand down shoulder-width apart from the left hand, bend the elbows and raise the right leg. Exhale swing the left leg back into chaturanga dandasana, four limbed staff pose. Inhale urdhva mukha shvanasana, upward facing dog pose, exhale adho mukha shvanasana. Then practice Vishvamitrasana on the left side.

Benefits: Vishvamitrasana is a third series yoga pose. In ashtanga yoga the advanced series are known as Sthira Bhaga or stabilizing radiance. Third series poses work together to improve strength and flexibility and enable the practitioner to master 30 advanced yoga poses. The third series is commenced, once the postures of the first and second series have been deeply integrated into the body.

Vishvamitrasana strengthens the arms, shoulders and back and stretches the legs and hips deeply. Enjoy Vishvamitrasana!

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