Definition - What does Ashwanasana mean?

Ashwanasana is an asymmetrical balancing yoga posture, suitable for beginners. Some consider it to be a variation of vrksasana or tree pose as the yogi stands on one leg with the other leg extended back, one arm reaching up and the other out to the side. It has mental and emotional benefits as well as physical benefits.

Ashwanasana can also be called ashwattasana and is often known in English as holy fig tree pose or pipal tree pose.

Holy Fig Tree Pose

Yogapedia explains Ashwanasana

Ashwanasana is thought to be named for the holy fig tree under which Buddha was meditating when he achieved enlightenment.

Like all balancing postures, as well as its physical benefits, ashwanasana is considered helpful for achieving mental and emotional equilibrium. The challenge is to maintain this equilibrium even when the physical balance is hard to achieve. In practicing this, the yogi can learn to be less attached to the results of the posture and to focus on the practice instead.

Ashwanasana is also considered beneficial for improving concentration. It can be practiced in a static or a dynamic way, moving in and out of the posture.

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