Swan Pose – Hansa asana

Common Name(s)Swan Pose in English, Hamsasana in Hindi
MeridiansLiver, Stomach, Spleen, Gall Bladder, Kidneys & Urinary Bladder
ChakrasManipura Chakra
ElementsWater , Earth

Swan asana, also called Hamsasana or Hansa Asana in Hindi, is one of the powerful asana in yoga practice to keep the hip and ankles flexible. With many people developing arthritis and ankle and hip problems, swan asana will surely prove to be a blessing, if regularly practised and in the right manner.  It is done in a prone position and involves strength and balancing.

The asana strengthens the muscles of biceps, triceps, abdomen and core. Hamsasana also regulates meridians of liver, stomach, spleen, gall and urinary bladder and kidneys.


Benefits of Swan Asana

1/4. With this posture, there will be ways to open the hips and the gravity will help in the rest of the positions. 

2/4. Front hips will get greatly rotated. Quadriceps and flexors of the hips gets a good amount of stretch, when the legs are pulled back. 

3/4. Backbend, which is part of this particular asana, will help in giving strength to the lower back. 

4/4. An important thing to be controlled is the sexual desire, as blood flow into the pubic region is quite high.


Precautions and Contraindications while doing Swan Asana

1/2. The yoga is not suitable for people, who have bad knees, especially problems with the meniscus. 

2/2. With hips being quite rigid, it is better to have the front foot back, more towards the hip.


Doing the swan asana

The asana can be begun by starting with the Down dog position or from the cat pose. The right leg needs to be slid between the stretched arms and the body needs to be leaned towards the right a bit. If it is feeling fine for you, then you need to flex the right foot and bring it forward. If there is some stress on the right knee, then try bringing the foot towards the right hip. Here, you need to take care that your body is centred. At this point, you will have to tuck the back toes and sliding the back knee away. This should be done till your buttocks are towards the floor.


Swan options 

1/4. If the front knee needs to be protected, the foot needs to be flexed before bringing it forward. 

2/4. The weight needs to be kept back onto the hips, as you go down. 

3/4. You can go down with the hands straight or flexed at the elbow. 

4/4. If you think you have a better flexibility, the front leg should be flexed forward pulling the bent knee, more towards the right and the chest should be placed on the shin of this folded leg.


Sleeping Swan Yoga Pose

1/4. In order to protect the front knee, the front foot should be kept flexed before moving the body forward. 

2/4. It’s important to keep the weight on the hips, as you lower down. 

3/4. The hands need to be kept straight or you can lie down on the elbows. 

4/4. If there is better flexibility, then the front foot needs to be brought to the front and bring the bent knee towards the right and chest over the shin.


Finishing the yoga position 

The hands need to be used to push the body up. The back toes need to be tucked under and the front paws should be placed in a downward dog position. Then raise the waist gradually with a groan with the face down.


Organs affected by swan yoga

Liver and groin are in line when doing the yoga, while the other meridians that are influenced are the stomach, spleen, gall bladder, and finally the urinary bladder through the lumbar arch. 

The hip and knee joints are affected the best, provided these are not having problems. 

Since this is a yang posture, you need to hold the positions for one to three minutes and also for the sleeping swan position. This is the recommended holding positions. 


Few points about the swan asana

1/3. If you are doing this yoga, then it is better to change into full swan from sleeping swan position, by changing the position of the hands towards the back near the hips. 

2/3. Full Swan position is better way of opening the hips, as it gives more stress on the front hip. 

3/3. With gradually practice, the full swan and sleeping swan positions can be used for increasing the flexibility of the hips and legs. 

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