Ganda Bherundasana

Definition - What does Ganda Bherundasana mean?

Ganda bherundasana is an advanced, intense backbend that stretches the front of the body and should only be attempted after more basic and intermediate backbends have been mastered. The term comes from the Sanskrit, ganda, which refers to the cheek or face; bherunda, which means “terrible,” “formidable” or “frightening”; and asana, meaning “pose” or “posture.” Ganda bherunda also refers to a two-headed bird in Indian mythology.

Lying face down, the yogi lifts the head and rests the chin on the mat, then lifts the legs while arching the back. The yogi continues arching the back until the legs drop overhead and the feet rest on the ground beside the face. Traditionally, the forearms rest on the feet with the chin on top of the fingers, although the arm position can vary.

In English, ganda bherundasana is known as formidable face pose.

Ganda Bherundasana


Yogapedia explains Ganda Bherundasana

On the Iyengar yoga scale, this asana's difficulty is rated 56 out of 60, making it one of the most challenging poses practiced in that style of yoga. In Ashtanga yoga, ganda bherundasana is part of the advanced A, or third series, vinyasa.

In addition to its physical benefits, ganda bherundasana calms the mind and reduces stress. It also activates three of the chakras, allowing prana energy to flow: muladhara (root), svadisthana (spleen or sacral) and visuddha (throat). Muladhara is associated with stability and groundedness. Svadisthana is the center of creativity and pleasure. Visuddha is the first of the spiritual chakras and encourages authentic expression while connecting the yogi to his/her higher Truth.

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