What is Santolanasana

What is Santolanasana (Balancing pose) and its Benefits?

What is Santolanasana (Balancing pose) and its Benefits? The Santolanasana or balancing pose strengthens the core and the arms. A strong core is necessary for a strong back, and the bodyweight used in this posture sculpts the shoulders and arms. Being able to balance while doing this pose helps tone the body. Santolanasana looks as if the body is held like a plank, thin and long. This pose focuses mostly on strengthening the core and shoulders to be able to do more difficult arm balancing poses. This pose essentially works for someone who wants to take their arm and shoulder strength to the next level.

By engaging the core in Santolanasana we stimulate the Manipura chakra, which brings wisdom, self-confidence, and feelings of wellbeing. We may feel tired, weak, and ill if this chakra is imbalanced. Among other organs, the solar plexus (Manipura chakra) regulates the pancreas, digestive system, and adrenal glands. Santolanasana reminds us that when our body becomes still, the mind is composed and the breath is relaxed. Practice Santolanasana on hard days to remind yourself of your strength and willpower.

What is Santolanasana (Balancing pose)

In English, Santolanasana is referred to as balancing poses and plank pose, but can also be referred to as Kumbakhasana or Phalakasana in Hindi and Sanskrit. As Santolanasana is a Sanskrit term that forms from two Sanskrit words: “Santolana” and “Asana” which means as follows:

  • Santolana – balancing
  • Asana – posture or pose

Pronunciation of Santolanasana is ‘sun-tu-learn-aas-anna’

Santolanasana or balancing pose is one of the best poses for yoga beginners to build core strength. Although it takes time to achieve stability and enhance the duration, it’s an easy pose that doesn’t require much flexibility. Santolanasana is also the fifth asana in the Surya Namaskar sequence. There is a lot of variation in Santolanasana, the stronger you get, the more creative you can be with your core workout. In addition to improving nerve balance, Santolanasana promotes inner equilibrium and harmony.

Benefits of Santolanasana (Balancing pose)

As the Plank Pose has more to do with balance and strength and less with stretching, it emphasizes the muscles around the core and shoulders. We will now discuss some of the benefits of Santolanasana or balancing poses are listed below as follows:

  • Strong Legs
  • Sculpted arms and shoulders
  • Develops Core Strength
  • Strengthens the Body
  • Reduce Fat
  • Improves Memory
  • Improves Respiratory System
  • Improves Posture
  • Improves Stamina
  • Improves Concentration
  • Energizes the Body
  • Stimulates Manipura Chakra
  • Reduce Pain
  • Build Biceps and Triceps

Now, discuss in detail how we get the above benefits by practicing the Santolanasana or balancing pose are as follows:

  • Strong Legs

We stretch our whole body while strengthening our legs as we are on our toes and the cushions of our feet.

  • Sculpted arms and shoulders

By stabilizing our hands in Santolanasana, we strengthen and tone our shoulders, arms, and wrists.

  • Develops Core Strength

As you use your belly muscles to stay upright in Santolanasana, it works on your core tremendously, hence they get toned and give the body a great shape. It also helps to tone your abs.

  • Strengthens the Body

Practicing Santolanasana toning and strengthening the muscles around the shoulders, upper arms, forearms, and wrists are achieved.

  • Reduce Fat

Due to the abdominal muscles being used while practicing the Santolanasana, more strength is gained in the abdominal muscles as fat is reduced around the tummy.

  • Improves Memory

Practicing the Santolanasana, concentration is required for balance, which turns to improve memory.

  • Improves Respiratory System

While practicing the Santolanasana, the chest is expanded to the maximum, providing great support for the chest muscles. This improves the respiratory system.

  • Improves Posture

Practicing the Santolanasana improves the body posture, as it stretches the entire body.

  • Improves Stamina

Practicing the Santolanasana improves the overall stamina of the body and relieves stress and physical pain in the body.

  • Improves Concentration

Practicing the Santolanasana improves your concentration and helps stay focused, without which this is an impossible yoga pose.

  • Energizes the Body

Practicing the Santolanasana energizes the entire body and instills a feeling of positivity.

  • Stimulates Manipura Chakra

Regular practicing the Santolanasana stimulates the Manipura Chakra. The Manipura chakra is associated with self-esteem, warrior energy, and transformation.

  • Reduce Pain

Practicing the Santolanasana helps strengthen the core, which subsequently strengthens back muscles and relieves back pain.

  • Build Biceps and Triceps

Regular practicing the Santolanasana helps in building stronger wrists and biceps and triceps.

How To Do Santolanasana (Balancing pose)

How to do Santolanasana or balancing pose includes the beginner’s tips, preparatory poses, the stepwise procedure to do it correctly, duration, release from it, follow-up poses, variations, precautions, and contraindications for Santolanasana. So, let’s start with beginner tips.

Beginners Tips for Santolanasana (Balancing pose)

Here are some of the beginner’s tips for Santolanasana or balancing pose, keep in mind while performing the Santolanasana are as follows:

  • Pull your navel towards your spine.
  • In case holding the Santolanasana is too difficult, you can rest your knees in the Cat-Cow pose in between and then resume the posture.
  • You can also place your elbows on the mat in line with your shoulders if you find straight hands difficult in Santolanasana.

Preparatory Poses for Santolanasana (Balancing pose)

Before we begin the deep arm balance yoga poses i.e.Santolanasana, it is important to open the muscles of the arms and the legs so that we may enjoy Santolanasana to the fullest extent. So, here are some preparatory poses for Santolanasana or balancing pose are as follows:

  • Padahastasan – Gorilla Pose
  • Trikonasana – Triangle Pose
  • Dekasana – Airplane Pose
  • Adho Mukha Svanasana – Downward-facing Dog Pose

Steps for Santolanasana (Balancing pose)

Below is the step-by-step procedure for Santolanasana or balancing pose to do it correctly are as follows:

  1. Sit in a Vajrasana on a yoga mat.
  2. Now, kneel on your palms and knees.
  3. Now, raise the buttocks and straighten the knees.
  4. Now, move the shoulders forward and drop the buttocks until the body is straight.
  5. The arms should be vertical.
  6. Now, focus the gaze on a fixed point in front at eye level.
  7. Now, stop breathing for as long as possible.
  8. Hold this position for a short duration or as long as you can. This is Santolanasana.
  9. Then slowly breathe and release.

DURATION: Hold the Santolanasana for 10 to 30 seconds in beginning as per your limits, then gradually increase it up to 60 seconds. Repeat the Santolanasana up to 5 times.

Release from Samakonasana :

For release from Samakonasana follow the following steps:

  • Lower the knees to the floor.
  • Relax in Marjariasana or cat pose.
  • Practice Samakonasana up to 5 times.

Follow-Up Poses of Santolanasana (Balancing pose)

As the body is stretched at the various muscles of the legs and the arms during Santolanasana, it needs to contract, which leads to the relaxing poses i.e. follow-up poses. Below are some of the follow-up poses or counterposes for Santolanasana or balancing pose are as follows:

  • Bhujangasana – Cobra Pose
  • Bālāsana – Child’s Pose
  • Pashchimottanasana – Seated Forward Bend
  • Supta Padangusthasana – Reclining Hand to Big Toe Pose
  • Supta Matsyendrasana – Supine Spinal Twist Pose
  • Shavasana – Corpse Pose

Precautions and Contraindications for Santolanasana (Balancing pose)

Here are some of the precautions and contraindications for Santolanasana or balancing pose you should know before performing the Santolanasana are as follows:

  • Avoid Santolanasana in case of wrist or shoulder injury.
  • If you are injured in the legs, including the upper leg at the thighs, Santolanasana should not be performed.
  • A person suffering from low or high blood pressure should avoid Santolanasana, as the chest is under a lot of pressure while balancing the Santolanasana.
  • Santolanasana is not advised for people with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome because the elbows and wrists are pressed.
  • If you suffer from anxiety, you should not perform Santolanasana.

Advance Poses or Variations of Santolanasana (Balancing pose)

Santolanasana or balancing pose has a vast list of variations and advanced poses. Here we are discussing some of the variations or advanced poses of Santolanasana are as follows:

  • Variation 1 – In this variation, after coming in Santolanasana, raise one arm and roll the body onto the side. The upper hand will rest on the upper thigh. Rollback to the basic pose and repeat this movement on the opposite side.
Santolanasana Variation 1
  • Variation 2 – In this variation, after coming in Santolanasana, raise one arm straight towards the ceiling.
Santolanasana Variation 2
  • Variation 3 – In this variation, after coming in Santolanasana, raise one leg and stretch it back and upward.
Santolanasana Variation 3

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