The deep stretching and hip opening yoga posture, Hamsasana (Swan Pose) is a yoga asana that can be practiced for increased health and as a preparatory pose for Mayurasana (Peacock Pose). The pose name comes from a Sanskrit word ‘Hamsa’ meaning the ‘Swan’ and ‘Asana’ meaning the ‘Pose’. The Hamsasana represents inner beauty, purity, and elegance of a swan.
The final position of the body in Hamsasana resembles a Swan that contributes to improved digestion, tones abdominal muscles, and a myriad of benefits of Swan Pose. Learn how to perform the Hamsasana, its contraindications, health rewards and more in the following section.
Stepwise Instructions to Do the Hamsasana (Swan Pose):
1. Start in a kneeling position with feet together and knees wide apart.
2. Locate the hands on the floor with fingers pointing towards the feet in between the knees.
3. Make sure the wrists and forearms are together.
4 Lean forward so that abdomen rests on the elbows and chest on the upper arms.
5. Find your balance and slowly stretch the legs behind.
6. Keep the legs straight and the tip of the toes on the ground.
7. Slightly raise the head and gaze at a point at eye level.
8. Stay in this pose for at least 20-30 seconds.
1. Start in a kneeling position. Stretch the left leg behind and set the right in front in a bent position. Curl the toes of the left foot and lean forward with head on the floor. As this stance engages whole body muscles, you can stay in the pose for a minute or so.
2. In the swan pose, grab a pillow and lean your torso over it. Keep the top of the foot of the extended leg flat on the floor. This variation makes the pose more accessible and relaxing allowing you to hold the pose for longer.
3. Place the bolster to a side and then bring your torso forward to give a twist to the body. You can also place the bolster a little away from the front knee.
4. While in the final swan pose, try going towards the side of the front leg.
5. Experiment with these variations and find your comfortable spot in the Hamsasana.
The Contraindications of the Pose:
1. If you have an injury in the knees or any other issue, watch the pressure on the knee during the practice of the pose. You can practice the pose with variations or can completely avoid till the problem persists.
2. Practitioners with ankle, hip, and lower back pain should perform the pose after consultation with a doctor.
Here are major Health Benefits of Hamsasana:
1. Deep Rotation of the Front Hip: Owing to prolonged sitting and standing, many of us experience pain in the front hip joint that makes movements highly uncomfortable and painful. In several cases, the pain may radiate to the lower leg and other areas of the body. In the Swan pose, one knee is placed in front with a foot placed quite far forward promoting deep external rotation of the front hip.
2. Works on Quadriceps and Legs: The Hamsasana effectively works on the back of the legs, quadriceps, hip flexors, and top of the thighs. The pose releases and stretches these body areas making them supple and strong.
3. Backbend Yoga Pose: The Variation of the Swan Pose in which the chest is upright. It acts as a deep backbend yoga posture. The upright position of the pose helps the body restore the normal curvature of the spine.
4. Works Sexual Desires: According to B.K.S Iyengar, one of the benefits of swan pose is that it can help work the sexual desires as the pose stimulates the blood flow in the pubic region.
5. Massages the Abdominal Organs: As you fold forward in Hamsasana, the abdominal organs get a good massage that helps in curing constipation, improves digestion, energy levels, and blood flow to the organs of the abdomen.
Evince purity, beauty, elegance, divinity, and balance with the practice of Hamsasana (Swan Pose).