Viparita Dandasana


As we can see on the two pictures the contact with the edge of the support is beetween the 8th and the 9th thoracic vertebrae. This support has an important action on the 9th ribs (left and right). The ribs are higher in the back than in the front, because of their orientation.

The edge’s pressure will create different movements in the bones :

  • The sternum is moving front
  • The 9th ribs are moving front and outward for the front part (red arrow) and front for the back part (blue arrow)
  • T8 and T9 are doing an extension.
  • All the ribs are moving creating an opening of the thorax.


The movement of the ribs and the sternum are pulling the diaphragm muscle giving it an important strech. Diaphragm muscle is known to be the muscle of emotion, by its connection to the solar plexus. It’s the wall beetween thorax and abdomen. It is also responsable for the breath with more than 40.000 movements a day !

This pose is also giving strech to the internal organs



The diaphragm is an important cross for all the fluids in transit beetween thorax and abdomen.
There is 3 mains Holes :

  • Aorte, is carring the blood full of oxygen from the heart to all the abdomen organs.
  • Inferior vena cava, is carring the blood full of carbon dioxide from all the organs to the
    heart and the lungs.
  • Esophagus, is carring the food from the mouth to the stomach.

Vena cava, aorta



Variation of 2 inter costal openings

Himalayan Iyengar Yoga Centre

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Supta Virasana

'Supta' translated into English from Sanskrit is “reclined or supine" and 'Virasana' translated means "hero's pose".

Reclined hero's posture can be described as a passive backbend or a classic front-opening pose. Sitting comfortably between the heels allows the front of the ankles, shins and lower legs to feel a stretch. As you lie back, the quadriceps and abdominal muscles lengthen, the knees are deeply flexed, and the hips are fully extended. Extending the arms overhead, continuing with the line of the body, adds a shoulder and chest expansion. Abdominal space is accessible because of the full elongation from the kneecaps to the fingertips.

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Self-Practice: The Elimination of the Yoga Teacher

‘What is important is for you to find out these things for yourself, so that you are free and not second-hand human beings’ - J. Krishnamurti

To truly progress on the path of Himalayan Iyengar Yoga, as prescribed by our Master Yoga Teacher Sharat Arora, you must pass from student in the yoga class to self-practitioner, thereby eliminating the yoga teacher and the class environment. In order to eliminate the yoga teacher you need to reach a certain level of understanding and awareness of the practice and so for this reason we recommend that students complete at least three 5-day Courses with us at the HIYC. Completing the 5-Day Courses will equip you with enough skills to continue on your path as a self-practitioner.

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Why Do We Do 5-Day Courses At The Himalayan Iyengar Yoga Centre?

One of our main goals at the HIYC is to help our students to develop into lifelong practitioners of yoga. One of the chief ways we hope to achieve this is by ensuring that all new students commit to at least one 5-day course with our teachers and assistants here at the centres in Goa and Dharamsala, India. Ideally, we recommend students to complete three or four 5-day courses because there is a progression over the weeks and evolution of the poses. In that time they will have a deeper understanding of all the core poses that do not change whether you are doing the introductory course or whether you are a teacher here at the centre. The poses evolve, both physically, in terms of the instructions given by the teacher at each stage, and in terms of your awareness of them at the subtler level. After 3 weeks of 5-day courses your awareness will be heightened and you will be greatly attuned to the subtleties of your body. So, the more courses completed the better but even two or just one week will furnish you with the skills you need to carry you on your own path to self-realisation.

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Why We Don’t Practice Inversions During Menstruation?

Here at the Himalayan Iyengar Yoga Centre we practise inversions… lots of inversions. Many of us are pretty addicted  to them and so missing out on shoulder stand, Halasana and of course - everybody’s favourite – hanging Sirshasana –  for four to six days when you have your period can feel very inconvenient. Most of us who love our daily hanging have been in the situation of thinking ‘oh, it’s not so heavy this month’ or ‘I think it’s almost finished’ so that we can get our inversion fix and we hang anyway. Some women, sadly, are even embarrassed to be seen to be missing out on the inversions – particularly ones done in class like shoulder stand – and some of us just resent and are resistant to the idea that we are somehow less capable for a few days each month. And yet, there are some good reasons that we at the HIYC do NOT recommend any inversions during menstruation.

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Sharat Arora
03 August 2016
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