Gemini governs the area of the arms, shoulders and the lungs. This month we therefore focus on postures which work on these areas. Urdhva means upward in Sanskrit, Baddha means bound/locked, Hasta translate as hands.
URDHVA BADDHA HASTASANA – pose with the fingers interlocked facing upward, is an effective posture which completely relate to the qualities of Gemini as it helps boost confidence, helps to treat depression, relieves stiffness & arthiritis in the shoulders, arms, wrists and fingers and strengthens the lungs.
A B C
How to do it:
Lift your arms out in front of you. Interlock your fingers firmly as shown on Photo B. Make sure your pinky fingers touch as well as your thumbs. Then turn your interlocked palms inside out as shown on Photo C and take a deep breath. As you exhale bring your locked elbows & hands straight up as on Photo A, and hold for 30-60 seconds.
What to focus on:
Once in the pose, 1) look straight ahead at something in eye level (drishti), 2) keep thinking about squeezing your elbows inward towards your ears, 3) pressing your flat palms towards the sky, like if you were to “lift a ceiling off”, 4) Activate your bandhas (a): keep the chin in and neck long (jalandhara bandha) (b): keep your navel in and up (uddhyana bandha) (c): lift your “pelvic floor muscles” (moola bandha)
How to come out of the pose:
On an exhalation lower your arms down in front of you and turn your palms inward: Notice which index finger is on top and then cross over so the other index comes on top and repeat the posture all over again. Notice what a big difference such a small detail can cause!
Do not practise this posture if you have stress related headaches, cardiac conditions, insomnia or migraine. If you have either high or low blood pressure only hold it for 15 seconds.
Other arms postures related to GEMINI:
Gomukha means “a cow’s face” in Sanskrit, which activates the muscles of the shoulders and expand the lungs.
Bend the left arm behind you, keeping the back of your left hand sliding upward towards your neck in the middle of your back. Try to catch your left albow with your right hand as shown on Photo A and breathe here for a while. (if you can’t catch your elbow try to go to a wall and press it in towards it, facilitating the fingers sliding upward) Then let go of the elbow and raise your right arm straight up in front of you, turn it, bend it and catch your left fingers with your right ones as shown on Photo B.
If you can’t reach the fingers you can use a belt or towel to diminish the distance between your hands. Be patient and most of all: keep breathing! Hold the pose for 20-30 seconds, then repeat it to the other side. Again: Notice the (usually big) difference between the two arms: this is very common, please don’t worry.
PASCHIMA NAMASKAR = salutation/greeting behind your back (also known as “secret prayer”) This asana (posture) requires considerable flexibility in the shoulders, arms, wrists and fingers. It opens the shoulders, improves the general posture and helps reducing depression as the hands pressure against the heart chakra (anahata chakra) Hold it for max 1 minute, keep breathing evenly.
Other asanas (postures) to improve flexibility of the shoulders, arms, wrists, fingers: