Ashtanga Namaskara (Knees Chest Chin Pose) is also known as the Eight-Limbed salutation. It is part of the Sun Salutation series of asanas. It appears as the 6th pose in the Sun Salutation or Surya Namaskara. In this pose, the body touches the ground in eight locations – the two feet (toes), the two knees, the two palms, the chest and the head. In Sanskrit, “ashta” means eight and “anga” means part. Hence the name Ashtanga Namaskara.
How to do Ashtanga Namaskara (Knees Chest Chin Pose):
- Lower the body so that the body is parallel to the ground.
- Let the following parts touch the floor – The two feet, the two knees, the two palms, the chest and the chin.
- The hip and abdomen is slightly raised up.
- While performing this pose the breath is held outside and the breathing is stopped for few seconds.
Benefits of Ashtanga Namaskara (Knees Chest Chin Pose) :
- Improves the Flexibility and Posture
Ashtanga Namaskara pose creates a lot of pressure on the muscles around the spine to hold the body in balance. In this pose the body reaches the floor at eight distinct points. So, the natural shape of the backbone is maintained. It gives strength to the backbone.
- Calm The Body and Mind
Ashtanga Namaskara is not just a form of exercise; it is more of a mind and body mindfulness technique. With this asana, you will achieve a healthier body, a peaceful mindset, and added energy. It calms the body and mind.
- It strengthens the muscles of the hands and legs.
- It strengthens the chest.
- Strengthens the Joints and Muscles
With the knees, chest, and chin on the floor, this posture actually works the entire body, from the muscles of the neck to the shoulders, upper arms, forearms, back, and abdomen. It especially strengthens joints in the legs and arms, particularly the wrists.
Contraindications of Ashtanga Namaskara:
- A person who is suffering from an injury to any part of the body or is recovering from surgery should avoid practicing this pose.
- Pregnant women should also avoid the practice of Ashtanga Namaskara as the exercise creates too much pressure on the abdominal area.
- People who suffer from Blood Pressure or have a Migraine should also avoid this exercise since the breathing can be reduced when trying to hold the body in balance.