Hindolasana

Definition - What does Hindolasana mean?

Hindolasana is a beginner-level seated hip-opening asana that also serves as a preparatory posture for more advanced seated hip-openers, such as padmasana (lotus pose) and the kapotasana (pigeon) series of asanas. The name comes from the Sanskrit hindola, which means “swinging cradle” or “hammock,” and asana, which is a "posture" or "pose." In English, it is known as baby cradle pose or rock the baby pose.

To practice the pose, the yogi sits in a cross-legged position and then raises the top leg and cradles the lower leg (from foot to knee) with both arms like holding a baby.

Yogapedia explains Hindolasana

In addition to its physical benefits, which include better flexibility and balance, hindolasana increases energy while clearing and calming the mind. The asana is also believed to open the svadisthana (sacral) chakra, which is associated with sexuality, creativity and composure. By opening svadisthana, hindolasana stimulates the imagination and innovative thoughts.

For a variation of the pose, the leg being held may rest in the inner elbows so the hands can interlock or be placed in prayer position. For a deeper hip-opener, the opposite leg can be straightened as in dandasana (staff pose). The leg being cradled may also be rocked back and forth gently, as if rocking a baby.

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