Therapeutic and relaxing, Svaroopa is a unique variation of yoga which literally means ‘bliss of your being’. Svaroopa yoga poses make use of additional supporting material such as soft blankets and yoga blocks. This ensures that each Svaroopa yoga pose is able to elongate and decompress the spine along its entire length. This form of yoga is not as fast paced and grueling as Ashtanga yoga or Bikram yoga. However, that is exactly what sets Svaroopa yoga poses apart from the rest. Each posture focuses on gradually opening up and releasing pockets of tension stored in the deepest layers of the spine.
Most Svaroopa yoga poses are modifications of well known yoga postures. Those who have prior experience with yoga will be quite familiar with the sequences. For those who are new to the practice of yoga, the following step by step instructions will help you execute these Svaroopa yoga poses with ease.
Sukhasana– The Easy Pose
Sukhasana is a great posture for decreasing physical and mental exhaustion, and for gently lengthening the spine.
- Elevate your hip bones by sitting on the edge of a folded blanket or a firm cushion.
- Cross your legs so that your feet point inwards. Bring the left leg in first and then the right leg.
- Allow your leg muscles to relax. Separate your knees and gently slide each foot under the opposite knee.
- Place your palms on your knees. Take your time to balance your body on your pelvis.
- The idea is to balance the spine over your pelvis. Refrain from leaning backwards or rounding your spine. Lean forward slightly and allow your knees to tilt towards the floor.
- Once you have found your balance, inhale deeply. Feel your spine stretch and lengthen as you breathe in.
- Exhale slowly, and allow your shoulders to relax. Feel the tension escape from your chest, shoulders and spine.
- Continue to breathe deeply as you focus on relaxing your body. Close your eyes and lower your chin slightly towards your chest. Relax your facial muscles and concentrate on your breathing pattern.
- Maintain this pose for as long as you feel comfortable.
- Exit the Sukhasana pose by straightening your legs.
- Repeat the sequence by crossing the right leg before the left leg in step two.
Jathara Parivrttanasana– Rotated Stomach Pose
This Svaroopa yoga pose releases tension from your spinal column and promotes feelings of calmness and contentment.
- Spread out your yoga mat.
- Lie down on your back flat against the mat.
- Slowly bring your knees up to your chest and use your hands to hold them in place. Allow your knees to touch each other.
- Gradually let your legs roll over onto the right side. At this point your arms should be held loosely at your sides.
- Shift your left arm so that it is placed along the left side of your body. Place your right hand on your knees, with the palm facing the ceiling.
- Now slowly shift your head towards the right side. Breathe deeply as you enjoy this relaxing pose.
- Maintain the position for as long as you wish to. Then bring your head back towards the middle. Use your hands to bring your knees back to the position assumed in step three.
- Slowly roll over onto the left side and repeat the entire sequence.
Savasana– The Corpse Pose
The corpse pose is a standard feature of every Svaroopa routine. It is performed at the beginning of every session to calm the mind and prepare the spine for the Svaroopa yoga poses. It is also performed at the end of the session to help the body relax after all the Svaroopa yoga poses have been completed.
- Spread a soft blanket on the floor.
- Place your head on a thin and soft pillow.
- Your knees should be gently propped up on a stack of two to three soft blankets.
- Place yoga blocks underneath your feet to prevent them from hanging in mid air.
- Allow your arms to rest loosely at your sides.
- Take a deep breath and feel the sensation of air filtering into your system. As you breathe out, focus on the experience of air escaping from your body. Notice how your body responds to the action of breathing.
- Work on relaxing each part of your body one by one. Start from your toes and work your way right up to your facial muscles.
- Continue to breathe deeply until you feel physically and mentally at ease.
While Svaroopa yoga poses are geared towards relaxation and healing, this form of yoga might not be suitable for everyone. Be sure to consult your doctor before signing up for regular Svaroopa yoga classes.