Pawanmuktasana series in Yoga is one of the most important groups of yoga poses or yoga asanas that have a very profound effect on the human body and mind and is thus a most useful tool for the yogic management of various disorders and maintenance of health. It is one of the special contributions of the teachings of Swami Satyananda Saraswati. It is essential for laying a firm foundation for the perfection of yogic asanas. It has 3 parts Pawanmuktasana series 1,2, and 3. We’ll be discussing it in brief and introducing it.
Pawanmuktasana is valuable for understanding the meaning of asana by developing awareness of the body’s movements and the subtle effects they have at the various levels of being. It is very useful as a preparatory practice as it opens up all the major joints and relaxes the muscles of the body.
Meaning of Pawanmuktasana series 1,2, 3
The pawanmuktasana series 1,2, and 3 may be practiced by anyone: beginner or advanced, young or elderly. It should never be ignored and treated casually just because the practices are simple, gentle, and comfortable. In Sanskrit, these practices are referred to as sukshma vyayama, which means ‘subtle exercise’.
The word pawan means ‘wind’, or ‘prana’; mukta means ‘release’, and asana means ‘pose’. Therefore, pawanmuktasana means a group of asanas that remove any blockages preventing the free flow of energy in the body and mind.
Sometimes, due to bad posture, disturbed bodily functions, psychological or emotional problems or an unbalanced lifestyle, the energy becomes blocked. This initially results in stiffness, muscular tension, lack of proper blood flow and minor functional defects. However, if these blockages become chronic, a limb, joint or physical organ may malfunction, fail or becon1e diseased. Regular practice of pawanmuktasana removes energy blockages from the body and prevents new ones from fanning. In this way, it promotes total health,
regulating and stabilizing the flow of energy throughout the body.
Benefits of Pawanmukatasana series
Most modern day diseases are psychosomatic in nature. Drug treatment of these ailments is only symptomatic and fails to touch the roots of the disease. These asanas, if done correctly, in a non-competitive and relaxed atmosphere, not only relax the muscles of the body, but these relaxing impulses travel back to the brain and relax the mind. By integrating breath synchronization and awareness, the attentive faculty of the mind is made active and is not allowed to wander into tension and stress.
The nature of these asanas is thus more mental than physical. If asanas are performed correctly they relax the mind, tune-up the autonomic nerves, hormonal functions and the activities of internal organs. Right-handed people will generally find that these asanas are easily learned with the right side leading. They should then be performed with the left side leading to counterbalancing the effects of habitual behaviour patterns.
Pawanmukatasana series is divided into three groups (1,2,3)
Pawanmuktasana is divided into three distinct groups of asanas:
- Pawanmuktasana Series 1: The anti-rheumatic group.
- Pawanmuktasana Series 2: the digestive/abdominal group.
- Pawanmuktasana Series 3: Shakti bandha group to release energy blocks.
All three groups supplement each other, stimulating and encouraging a free flow of energy throughout the body. Practitioners are advised to perfect each group before attempting the major asanas. Daily practice of pawanmuktasana parts 1, 2, and 3 over a period of months brings about a profound relaxation and toning of the entire psycho-physiological structure which is necessary for the practice· of advanced techniques.
The asanas in each group should be performed in the order given. Advanced yoga asanas are frequently physically demanding and have a powerful effect on the body and mind. It is essential to respect this and prepare correctly.
Pawanmuktasana Series 1
Pawanmuktasana series 1 is a group of asanas concerned with loosening up the joints of the body. It is excellent for those debilitated by rheumatism, arthritis, high blood pressure, heart problems, or other ailments where vigorous physical exercise is not advised. Pawanmuktasana series 1 is particularly useful for eliminating energy blockages in the joints of the physical body, and for improving coordination, self-awareness, and self-confidence.
Pawanmuktasana Series 2
Pawanmuktasana series 2 is a group of asanas concerned specifically with strengtheninging the digestive system. It is excellent for people with indigestion, constipation, acidity, excess wind or gas, lack of appetite, diabetes, disorders of the male or female reproductive systems, and varicose veins. It also eliminates energy blockages in the abdominal area.
Pawanmuktasana Series 3
Pawanmuktasana series 3 is concerned with improving the energy flow within the body and breaking down neuro-muscular knots. They also eliminate energy blockages in the spine, activate the lungs and heart, and improve endocrine function. Pawanmuktasana series 3 is useful for those with reduced vitality and a stiff back and is especially useful for menstrual problems and toning the pelvic organs and muscles. It can be practised after pregnancy for retoning flaccid muscles. The shakti bandha in Pawanmuktasana series may be started straight away if good health and fitness prevail. However, if there are any serious ailments, a therapist should be consulted. Also, take care to observe the contra-indications given for individual practices. Right-handed people will find these asanas are easily learned with the right side leading. They should then be practised with the left side leading to balance development of the limbs, nerves, and behavior patterns.