Definition - What does Nahushasana mean?

Nahushasana is an advanced backbend and is part of the fourth series of Ashtanga yoga. From the Sanskrit name of the virtuous sage, Nahusha, and asana meaning "pose," the meaning of Nahushasana is a pose of virtuousity and integrity in intention, spirit and physical movement.

The pose is entered from mulabandhasana, a seated position where the legs bend and the feet come toward the groin; however, the toes point to the back of the body and come to the floor as the heels lift. From here, with erect posture, the hips lift up as the arms reach back and the back bends. The gaze, or drishti, is on the nose and the posture is held for five breaths. To release, the body comes up, the yogi lowers the hips and releases mulabandhasana.

Nahushasana is known in English as the pose dedicated to sage Nahusha.

Yogapedia explains Nahushasana

Nahushasana builds off of the flexibility and strength that the yogi builds in the posture, mulabandhasana. In Nahushasana, the goal of the feet is to be together and for the toes to turn in with the heels turned out. As the body lifts and the yogi comes into a backbend, the crown of the head reaches toward the floor. The arms reach back and the hands provide stability and support. In other variations of this posture, the hands can come to the hips or in prayer position at the heart.

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