Hamsa means a swan. Hamsasana is very similar to Mayurasana, except that the placing of the hands is different. In Mayurasana the little fingers touch and the fingers point to the feet, whereas in Hamsasana the hands are so placed that the thumbs touch and the fingers point to the head. Hamsasana resembles the plant balance in modern gymnastics.

Hamsasana

Technique

  1. Kneel on the floor with the knees slightly apart.
  2. Bend forward and place the palms on the floor. The thumbs should touch and the fingers should point forward.
  3. Bend the elbows and keep the forearms together. Rest the diaphragm on the elbows and the chest on the back of the upper arms.
  4. Stretch the legs straight one by one and keep them together.
  5. Exhale, swing the trunk forward, bear the body weight on the wrists and hands, raise the legs from the floor and keep them stretched straight with the feet together and parallel to the floor.
  6. Balance in this position without holding your breath as long as you can. The forearms will not remain perpendicular to the floor due to the greater pressure on the wrists as a result of the position of the hands. It is harder to balance in Hamsasana than in Mayurasana. As the diaphragm is being pressed, breathing will be hard and laboured. The forearms do not bear the weight of the body as in Mayurasana.
  7. Exhale and rest the head and toes on the floor. Place the knees on the floor by the side of the hands, take the weight of the body off the elbows, raise the hands and the head from the floor and relax.

Effects of Hamsasana

Hamsasana tones the abdominal region of the body, because due to the pressure of the elbows against the abdominal aorta, blood circulates properly in the abdominal organs. This improves digestive power and prevents the accumulation of toxins in the system. It develops and strengthens the elbows, forearms and wrists.

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