The word supine means “lying on the back”, and there are a number of yoga poses that are practiced while lying flat on the back and facing upwards. The supine postures are a normal part of all types of yoga, whether it is Ashtanga, Bikram, Hatha, Kriya or Sivanada yoga session. The Basic Supine Postures that are done while lying flat on the back include:
Leg Pulls: They are used as preliminary postures that relax the body. They also relieve stretched hamstrings and strengthen the legs.
Leg Raises: These include single and double leg raises, and are mostly performed as beginning postures in order to prepare the body for more difficult asanas to follow. It is great for relaxing the back and strengthening the legs and hips.
Wind Relieving Pose: Acts as a relaxer and also improves the working of the digestive organs. It is recommended for people suffering from indigestion and flatulence.
In addition, there are a number of variations of the supine postures, which include Supine Backbends such as:
Bridge Pose: This posture is very beneficial in building and improving the core strength of the body. It energizes the body and is very helpful in stimulating the endocrine and nervous systems.
Fish Pose: A great way to stimulate the respiratory, nervous and cardiovascular systems, this pose opens the chest and stretches the spine too. People suffering from back and neck injury should not practice the fish pose.
One Legged Bridge: An advanced asana; it is an excellent resource for soothing the brain and relieving stress. It stimulates the abdominal organs as well as stretches the neck, chest and back.
Supine Twists like:
Belly Twist: This posture strengthens the abdominal muscles along with stretching the back muscles and lengthens the spine. Due to this reason, it is also known as the Spinal Twist.
Knee down Twist: This twist stretches and strengthens the back muscles and rejuvenates the spinal discs.
And Supine Hip Openers:
Joyful Baby Pose: One of the basic hip opening postures, it also strengthens the legs and relieves lower back pain along with lengthening and realigning the spine.
Supine Bound Angle: A simple posture for opening the hips and the shoulders, also allows time to practice breathing techniques for relaxation.
Supine Pigeon: Mostly used as a warm up asana for a yoga class, it is very useful for strengthening the back and enhances flexibility of the hips.
Extended Supine Hand to Toe: A variation of the normal hand to toe asana, it is helpful in making the hips and groin more flexible. This pose is more suitable for advanced yogis as it requires extending the leg at a right angle to the hips.
Other advanced supine asanas include the leg to side yoga pose, leg reclining lunges, half shoulder stand, plow pose and upward bow pose. The basic postures are the most easy and undemanding to do; they are suitable for all yoga levels from beginners to advance. As the poses get more complex and hard to attain, it is important to practice only those supine poses that are within your health and physical fitness boundaries. Overdoing your yoga routine can even be harmful in particular for those that suffer from various ailments or health problems. So it is extremely important to use caution and listen to the demands of your body while practicing yoga.