A thousand distractions, always planning or thinking about the past. When are you really at the moment? Zen Yoga, an ancient healing practice from Japan, emphasizes the importance of staying in the present and being completely mindful of it.
And why do you need it? You do because it gives you immense peace of mind and calm. It’ll keep you confident and motivated. All you need are just these to achieve anything in life, isn’t it?
Zen Yoga is a result of various wellness experiments by exceptional spiritual masters from around the world that evolved into a great self-developing practice. Let’s have a look at it here, shall we?
What Is Zen Yoga?
How Zen Yoga came to be is an interesting story. Zen is derived from a Sanskrit word, ‘Dhyan.’ Gautama Buddha practiced and propagated ‘Dhyan’ or meditation. Later, a monk named Bodhidharma took it to China where it became ‘Chan.’
Then, it spread to Japan and came to be known as Zen Yoga. The term was first coined by a Zen master called Masahiro Oki. Zen Yoga is essentially a practice without expectation.
It trains you to completely immerse yourself in an activity without giving a thought to the results, repercussions, or awards. It does this by emphasizing on physical alignment, the flow of energy in the body, and awareness.
The physical exercises of Zen Yoga help you open up, unblock the body, and prepare it for sitting meditation. It is a gentle process that is concerned with awareness of the body and its sensations.
Let’s take a look at the Zen Yoga poses now.
Zen Yoga Poses
Practicing yoga with an empty mind is Zen Yoga. Do not practice the poses for good health or flexibility. Execute them for the sake of doing them and nothing more. All the good that comes with the practice will anyway happen.
- Baddha Konasana (Cobbler Pose)
- Ananda Balasana (Happy Baby Pose)
- Dhanurasana (Bow Pose)
- Purvottanasana (Upward Plank Pose)
- Utkatasana (Chair Pose)
- Trikonasana (Triangle Pose)
- Ardha Chandrasana (Half Moon Pose)
1. Baddha Konasana (Cobbler Pose)
About The Pose: Baddha Konasana or the Cobbler Pose resembles the stance of a cobbler at work. It also looks like a butterfly flapping its wings. Baddha Konasana is a beginner level Vinyasa yoga asana. Practice it in the morning on an empty stomach. Do it for 1 to 5 minutes.
Benefits: Baddha Konasana stimulates the heart and the prostate gland. It stretches your knees and relieves anxiety. The pose increases the flexibility of the hips and opens up the lower back.
To know more about the pose and its procedure, click here: Baddha Konasana
2. Ananda Balasana (Happy Baby Pose)
About The Pose: Ananda Balasana or the Happy Baby Pose looks like the position of a baby on the bed with active limbs. It is a beginner level Vinyasa yoga asana. Practice the pose in the morning or evening on an empty stomach. Hold it for at least 30 seconds.
Benefits: Ananda Balasana opens your inner thighs and stretches your hamstrings. It soothes the spine and calms your brain. The pose also increases the strength of your arms.
To know more about the pose and its procedure, click here: Ananda Balasana
3. Dhanurasana (Bow Pose)
About The Pose: Dhanurasana or the Bow Pose resembles a stringed bow that is ready to aim the arrow. It is a beginner level Vinyasa yoga asana. Practice this powerful asana early in the morning on an empty stomach. Hold it for 15 to 30 seconds.
Benefits: Dhanurasana activates your system and keeps you away from lethargy. It rejuvenates your spine and increases its elasticity. The pose also strengthens your shoulders and cures obesity.
To know more about the pose and its procedure, click here: Dhanurasana
4. Purvottanasana (Upward Plank Pose)
About The Pose: Purvottanasana or the Upward Plank Pose looks like a plank done in the opposite direction. It is a beginner level Vinyasa yoga asana. Practice this asana in the morning on an empty stomach or evening after 4-6 hours gap from the last meal. Hold it for 30 to 60 seconds.
Benefits: Purvottanasana frees your mind and readies you to take on new challenges. It strengthens your legs and stretches your wrists. The pose also relieves fatigue and depression.
To know more about the pose and its procedure, click here: Purvottanasana
5. Utkatasana (Chair Pose)
About The Pose: Utkatasana or the Chair Pose is an asana where you have to sit on an imaginary chair. It is a beginner level Vinyasa yoga asana. Practice it in the morning on an empty stomach or evening after a gap of 4 to 6 hours from your meal. Hold it for 30 to 60 seconds.
Benefits: Utkatasana strengthens your calves and torso, stretches your chest, and stimulates your abdominal organs. The pose also tones your knee muscles and balances your body.
To know more about the pose and its procedure, click here: Utkatasana
6. Trikonasana (Triangle Pose)
About The Pose: Trikonasana or the Triangle Pose is an asana that resembles the geometric triangle. ‘Trikona’ is a Sanskrit word that means triangle. This pose is a beginner level Vinyasa yoga asana. Practice it in the morning on an empty stomach and clean bowels. Hold it for at least 30 seconds.
Benefits: Trikonasana reduces blood pressure and cures indigestion. It removes fat from the waist and hips. The asana increases concentration and improves the mobility of the hip joints.
To know more about the pose and its procedure, click here: Trikonasana
7. Ardha Chandrasana (Half Moon Pose)
About The Pose: Ardha Chandrasana or the Half Moon Pose, as the name suggests, is an asana that looks like the half moon. The pose is a beginner level Hatha yoga asana. Practice it in the morning on an empty stomach or evening after a gap of 4 to 6 hours from your last meal. Hold the pose for 15 to 30 seconds.
Benefits: Ardha Chandrasana strengthens your buttocks and abdomen and stretches your hamstrings and calves. The pose relieves stress and improves your coordination capabilities.
To know more about the pose and its procedure, click here: Ardha Chandrasana
Once you practice these Zen Yoga asanas regularly, your body becomes ready to sit and meditate comfortably without any physical problems. Zen Meditation is unique to Zen Yoga and is also known as Zazen.
To know more about Zen Meditation and its procedure, click here: Zen Meditation
Now, let’s answer some common queries about Zen Yoga.
Expert’s Answers For Readers’ Questions
Is Zen Yoga religious?
No, Zen Yoga is a spiritual practice.
Can I practice Zen Yoga to overcome my psychological problems?
Yes, but only after consulting your doctor and training under a certified instructor.
Zen Yoga, since ages, has been a solution for better living. Spending some time practicing Zen every day goes a long way in improving your personality and life. You have this one life now and must try to live it to the fullest. Zen Yoga is the best tool to help you with it, so get to practicing it.
- Zen Meditation And Its Benefits
- Nada Yoga – How To Do And What Are Its Benefits?
- How To Do The Dhanurasana And What Are Its Benefits
- Ananda Yoga – What To Do And What Are Its Benefits?