Krouncha (क्रोउन्च, Krounca) = Heron, Pond Heron
Asana (आसन, Āsana) = Pose, Seat, Posture
Krounchasana (क्रोउन्चासन, Krouncāsana) = Heron-Posture

Krounchasana, also known as the Heron Pose can be described as a seated stretch that helps exercise your hamstrings and calves. Yoga experts claim that this pose is like an intensified variation of the Triang Mukhaikapada Paschimottanasana or the Three Limbs to the West Pose. The Heron Pose is one of the harder yoga poses to perform and your knees as well as your hamstrings need to be flexible for it. This graceful yoga pose, when performed correctly, strengthens the core muscles while it stretches the back of the legs. Some of the heron pose modifications could include the use of props like a chair, blocks or straps.
In order to avoid any injuries, it is absolutely essential that you practice the heron pose under the supervision of a yoga teacher, at least in the beginning.

How To
  1. Sit on a flat surface, like the floor, in a way that your legs are stretched out straight ahead of you.
  2. Bend your right knee in front of you, so that it touches the floor. Your right foot should rest next to your right hip and both your knees need to be together.
  3. Maintain your balance while you sit up straight, so that your weight rests on your “sitting bones”. Make sure that your body weight is equally divided between the sitting bones.
  4. Then, bend your left knee in a way that your left foot rests flat on the floor, just in front of the sitting bone.
  5. Using both your hands, cup your left foot at the heel. Straighten your leg, pulling it backwards, closer to your torso. Make sure that your back and shoulder blades are straight. To perform the pose correctly, your leg has to be completely perpendicular to the ground.
  6. Move your chin towards your knee while your back remains straight and extended.
  7. Hold our breath and this pose for about 30 seconds, before lowering the leg slowly.
  8. Repeat the entire exercise with the other leg.
If you are new to the heron pose, only raise your leg as far as you comfortably can. It may take a while for you to be able to hold your leg perpendicular to the ground.

Benefits
  • Legs: When you practice The Heron Pose, you tend to feel the pressure on your thighs, calves, hamstrings and knees. This pose increases strength and flexibility in the joints and muscles of the legs.
  • Chest and Abdomen: The regular practice of this pose tones up the organs and the muscles of your chest and abdomen. This helps to open them up and improve their overall functioning. This pose is very helpful, in case you suffer from excess flatulence.
  • Feet: The Heron Pose is excellent for those who have flat feet. The benefit to this body part is that the pose stretches the ankles, the arch of the foot as well as the Achilles Heel.
Variations
The Heron Pose, on its own can be quite challenging, which helps motivate those who practice yoga regularly. However, once you master this pose, you can add a twist to it, just to add more variety to your yoga routine. Given below, are the steps for one of the variations for Heron Pose:
  • Start off with the regular Krounchasana
  • Next, take the outer side of your raised leg with your opposite hand. Your thumb needs to be turned down, towards the floor. Your other hand should be pressed down on the floor, behind you.
  • Breathe out and swing your raised leg a bit to the opposite side. Simultaneously, twist your torso towards the leg that is raised.
  • Hold the position for around 15 seconds before you release the twist and exhale.

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