Mandukasana ‘Frog Pose’ Practice, Benefits and Contraindications of Bhekasana

Common Name(s)Frog Pose in English, Mandukasana and Bhekasana in Sanskrit
MeridiansSpleen. Liver and Kidney
ChakrasSacral Chakra (Swadisthana Chakra) , Root Chakra (Muladhara Chakra)
ElementsWater , Earth

It goes to the credit of our ancient yogis who could observe the different postures of living beings and define their utility for human beings. Take for instance the frog posture while it swims in the pond. 

Called Mandukasana or Bhekasana in Sanskrit or Frog Pose in English, this yoga posture works well for hips, groin, lower back and knees. It is also a good hip and groin opening exercise.

The asana directly affects the spleen, liver and kidney meridians of the body, improving their functions. It also takes care of the Pitta and Kapha doshas of the body which are explained in Ayurveda and regulates the working of earth and water elements in the body. 

This stretch asana has many variations, such as Ardha Mandukasana and Uttana Mandukasana. 


Contraindications or Precautions For Doing Frog Pose

It is quite safe to perform the Mandukasana in most of the circumstances and by most of the people. However, as is the case with the safest of asanas, there are certain precautions which should be taken. 

1/4. It is better to avoid doing it if you have a bad back. 

2/4. Since the posture requires transferring weight on knees which are kept on the ground, it might become uncomfortable. To take care of this, you can use cushion as a padding support under the knees.

3/4. In case the neck has some stiffness, you should not place the chin on the floor as it will further increase the tension in muscles and increase stiffness. Rather, you should take the forehead downwards as it works in opposite direction to chin being taken down and this relaxes the neck muscles. 

4/4. Since the asana also involves stretching of the arms, and if there is a feeling of the tingling sensation in the arms, it is better to move the hands closer or farther away whichever is comfortable. You can also use one arm at a time as an alternative to gradually moving to do full asana in one go. 


How to do the Mandukasana or Frog Pose?

1/6. You can make the beginning by sitting in Child Pose or Vajrasana. Let the knees remain on floor but move these apart as much as possible, opening the groin. This can be done by both resting the hips on folded legs or by lifting the hips up.

2/6. Stretch out the arms in front by keeping these on floor with palms down on floor, putting the chest on floor and bending the lower back down at same time. 

3/6. In this pose you can either place the chin on floor or keep head sideways (left and right side, with turns). 

4/6. By remaining in this pose, you shall move the lower foot or toes farther away from the knee alignment. 

5/6. You can rest the forehead on folded arms for some time as well. 

6/6. Another variation could be that you do not place the chest on floor but raise it, rest your weight on forearms and let the spine arch down in free mode, without any tension. Let gravity pull the stomach down.


Time period for Mandukasana

Ideally, you should remain in this pose for 3 to 5 minutes. However, you can remain in it for a duration which is comfortable for you.


How To come out of Pose?

There are two way of coming back to the normal. One is to again go back in the Child Pose and the other is to either take your legs back or slide forward. 


A few benefits of Frog Pose

1/3. The frog yogasana helps to open the groin (especially the adductors).

2/3. It also helps in aiding digestion and relieves the cramps due to menstrual cycle.

3/3. The tension in the lower back regions also eases-off with this asana.


Counter Poses

Every pose of yoga has a counter pose. The counter pose is a balancing posture. One of these counter-poses is the Child Pose. The other opposite asana is of lying down on back, bringing the folded knees to chest and holding these there. These held knees can be made side to side or in circle.


Other Options

Some of the other variations of this posture are…

1/4. Half Frog or Ardha Mandukasana or Ardha Bhekasana- In this variation, the feet is not spread out outwards from behind but remain in same position as were during the Vajrasana.

Another variation is in the form of Uttana Mandukasana. In this pose, the person sits in Vajrasana, spreads out the knees, toes are kept together, the hands are lifted up and then bent at elbows to touch the alternate back of shoulders making a cross. The chest is lifted up to the extent possible and the tension on stomach muscles is felt. This is good for people having problems in breathing as it increases the lung capacity and also reduces the stomach fat.

2/4. You can make some variations in the posture. If there is too much pressure in groin region due to parting of the knees, you can bring the hips a little forward to make it more comfortable.

3/4. You can make use of the bolsters to place below the knees or under the chest for easing the stress-levels.

4/4. Adjustments can be done to be in comfortable position.

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