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Benefits of Mandukasana (Frog Pose) and How to Do it By Dr. Himani Bisht

By Dr. Himani Bisht +2 more

Introduction 

The saying about ‘Survival of the fittest’ by Charles Darwin is well known. It has become more of a reality today than ever before! Humans are increasingly turning into well-oiled machines. Unfortunately, the human body is not as well-equipped for the tasks forced on it every day. Our mind and body need the proper preparation for the best output. Yoga is one of the best ways to polish and prepare your body and mind.  

mandukasana

Yoga is said to be originated in India and is considered a branch of Hindu philosophy. Ancient and modern yoga combines the physical, mental and spiritual health of an individual. Yoga teaches several physical techniques called asanas or postures, which are used as a medium to meditate, relax and concentrate in life. 

According to a Sanskrit book called Hatharatnavali which mentions the Yogasana, Lord Shiva hand-picked eighty-four yoga postures and one of these is Mandukasana! 

So, in this blog, you will learn the steps and benefits of Mandukasana and much more. 

Mandukasana might be beneficial in improving heart health and overall concentration. As a practising input, the pressure on the chest leads to the opening of chest muscles, enhancing circulation and decreasing pressure from the blood vessels.

Dr. Siddharth Gupta, MD

What is Mandukasana? 

Mandukasana is a Sanskrit term in which ‘manduka’ means a frog and asana means pose; thus, it is also referred to as frog pose because when you perform this asana, the final position of your body appears in the shape of a frog.1 

Mandukasana yoga or frog asana is known as hip-opener pose as it helps to intensely focuses on stretching and extending the hip.1 

Mandukasana pose is traditionally believed to activate the Svadisthana chakra, the second primary chakra per Hindu Tantrism. Svadisthana chakra opens the spleen and sacrum (bottom of the spine between the hip). This chakra is the centre of pleasure, enjoyment and creativity. It allows for better productivity, focus and inner acceptance.1 

A variation of Mandukasana is Ardho Mukha Mandukasana. In Sanskrit, it means a downward-facing frog pose. Your body is in table pose with knees stretched to the sides and the ankles kept behind the knees with the toes turned outward. The forearms and elbows rest flat on the floor; the head facing downward and the hips pushed back. It is a hip-opening yoga pose as it deeply stretches the hips and opens benefits for the body including releasing the emotional stress accumulated in the hips. It may also spark creativity and access your inner potential.2,3 

How to do it? 

It is said that the frog pose is a difficult one, maybe because it is usually not done correctly. Follow the given steps to perform Mandukasana and gain the maximum health advantage of the frog pose. You may start with Balasana (Child’s pose) as the preparatory pose for Mandukasana pose.3  

  • Sit in a tabletop position, with your hands and knees touching the floor.  
  • Place your arms in line with the shoulder and knees below the hips and hold for a few seconds. 
  • Now, gradually start moving both knees out to the sides keeping the ankles and feet in line with the knees. 
  • Continue with steady breathing and feel the stretch in your lower body, including your thighs and hips. 
  • Keep your hip open, turn your feet out and stretch the ankles till the inner foot, ankle and knees touch the floor. If you are a beginner, you may utilise a knee-length blanket to decrease the tension during stretching. 
  • Slowly drop the forearms and elbows to the floor and palms flat on the ground to enter the frog pose. Hold here for about five to ten breaths. 
  • Exhale, extend your arms forward and lower your abdomen, chest and chin parallel to the floor. 
  • Take your hips backwards and keep them stable. Here your hips are open; maintain this pose for two to three breaths. You may repeat this asana six times if you feel comfortable.  
  • Now, gently lift your body, pushing onto the hands to release the pose. Keep your knees together, come up and sit back on your heels.1,3 

Practising Mandukasana can put pressure on the abdominal muscles leading to the production of stress hormones. The stress hormone is responsible for improving liver function and kidney function.

Dr. Rajeev Singh, BAMS

Do You Know? 

Here are a few fun facts about the Mandukasana pose that might interest you: 

  • Mandukasana is one of the eighty-four yoga postures taught by Lord Shiva, as per the 17th century Hatharatnavali, a classic Sanskrit reference book.4 
  • In Kannada, Mandukasana is called Mamdukasana.4 
  • The Celtic people believe that frogs represent healing powers due to their connection with cleansing water as a symbol of purity.5 
  • It is believed that if you hold on to the frog pose for 30 seconds, you may attract abundance in your life and your fondest wish may come true!5 
  • In Japanese culture, another word for frog is ‘kaeru’ (meaning to return). So, travellers used to carry frog amulet as a sign to return home safely.5 
  • In Chinese culture, frog is an emblem of Yin energy and is considered a good luck charm.5 

Benefits of Mandukasana:  

Frog position yoga is an advanced yoga pose that focuses on benefiting the core, hips and inner thigh area. Some of the potential benefits of frog asana yoga are described below:  

1. Benefits of Mandukasana for Concentration 

If you are having trouble concentrating at work, Mandukasana might help you. As you attain this frog position, you highly focus on the adjustments and movements required to keep your body, including your hips, knees and feet, in a comfortable position. Your muscles make you consciously aware of your actions through the bodily movements.3 

2. Benefits of Mandukasana for Stability 

Mandukasana pose puts pressure on the spine, groin region and lower back, activating the Muladhara chakra at the bottom of the spine. It activates the sense of stability to attain physical and mental well-being. It may also help to acquire emotional and spiritual balance in a life of a person.3 

3. Benefits of Mandukasana for Diabetes 

If you have high blood sugar, practising Mandukasana might help manage diabetes. Studies have found that frog position may enhance insulin production, that may help regulate sugar levels in the body.6 

4. Benefits of Mandukasana for Digestive System 

Frog pose benefits may also be associated with activating the solar plexus or Manipura chakra. It is located in the navel region, thus stimulating the abdominal organs. You feel intense pressure on the stomach region while performing Mandukasana. This core pressure activates the internal organs enhancing the metabolism, bowel movement and producing digestive fluids for digestion, releasing gases and relieving constipation.3,6 

5. Benefits of Mandukasana for Depression, Anxiety and Stress  

If you are seeking for peace of mind and want to de-stress yourself, go with Mandukasana yoga. It may help you to relieve blocked energies like anxiety, depression and stress in the body. In frog pose asana, you stretch and open your lower back, hips and pelvis. It helps you to clear out the accumulated negative emotions from the body and achieve a feeling of freshness and happiness. It also boosts blood circulation and supplies oxygen to the body.3,6 

6. Other benefits of Mandukasana 

  • Mandukasana benefits by stimulating the solar plexus chakra, which may help provide a sense of self-motivation and self-empowerment and increase individual efficiency.3 
  • The frog pose may help to reduce back pain. It stretches the muscles of back, hip, knees and ankles; it boosts the blood flow alleviating the sciatica pain.6,7 
  • It may help with shredding the fat in the abdomen and lower belly region as it creates pressure on the belly, helping to lose the fat accumulated in that region.6 
  • It may also help to soothe any cramps or pain in the body by removing blocked energy from the body and providing a balance of mind.1,3 

The daily practice of yoga may benefit the mind and body; however, it is not an alternative option for modern medicines. Therefore, you must not depend on yoga alone to deal with your health problems. Instead, it is better to consult a medical practitioner who will assess your situation correctly and treat you accordingly. Additionally, practising and learning Yoga under the observation of a trained yoga master to avoid injuries is essential.  

Risks of Exercise 

Contraindications of Mandukasana includes: 

  • High blood pressure 
  • Abdominal injuries 
  • Hip pain 
  • Knee pain.5 

Some of the precautions to take while performing Mandukasana: 

  • People with knee pain should avoid doing this pose; as you extend your knees, your pain might increase.5 
  • If you are experiencing hip pain, try to avoid this asana; any unsafe position might cause complications.5 
  • Pregnant women must take precautions while doing this asana as it exerts pressure on the abdominal muscles. So, it is advisable that you perform under the supervision of a trainer. 
  • If you have high blood pressure or heart complaints, avoid frog pose until the doctor advises you on this asana. 
  • If you have an abdominal injury, you should wait until it completely heals, or it may worsen the wound. 

With the guidance of a trained yoga expert, you can assess and analyse the risk factors and continue to practice the Mandukasana yoga pose with precautions.  

Also Read: Positions To Relieve Gas: Research-Backed Techniques for Comfort

Conclusion  

Mandukasana is a Yogasana that resembles a frog; therefore, it is also referred to as frog pose yoga. It is a common hip-opening yoga pose as it stretches the feet and knees, helping open the hips. It also extends the upper and lower body activating the muscles of the chest, shoulders, abdomen, thigh, waist, etc. Mandukasana may help to enhance concentration, attain stability and remove negative energies like stress and anxiety by activating the Muladhara and Manipura chakra.   

Frequently Asked Questions 

Why Mandukasana is called ‘frog pose’? 

Mandukasana is an asana that resembles a frog. It is a Sanskrit name that translates as ‘frog pose’. While performing this asana, the final position of the body appears in a shape of a frog. .1 

Which chakra does Mandukasana activate?  

Mandukasana activates the Manipura chakra (solar plexus) located in the navel region and the Muladhara chakra (root) present at the base of the spine.3 

Does Mandukasana help in digestion? 

Yes. Mandukasana activates the Manipura chakra, which is present in the abdominal region. It stimulates the abdomen organs helping in enhancing the functions of digestion.1,3 

How many rounds of Mandukasana can be performed? 

You may perform 5 to 6 rounds of the Mandukasana pose while holding the position for five to ten breaths.3 However, we recommend you to practise under the guidance of a qualified yoga teacher who will advise you on the number of rounds of Mandukasana that you may practise. 

Are there any tips for beginners? 

Frog pose for beginners may be difficult to maintain, so use a knee-length blanket or a yoga mat as padding support for your knees. It might help to reduce the tension between thighs during stretching. You may also need to keep your breathing steady.1,3 

References 

1. What is Mandukasana? – Definition from Yogapedia [Internet]. [cited 2022 Sep 9]. Available from: https://www.yogapedia.com/definition/7244/mandukasana 

2. What is Adho Mukha Mandukasana? – Definition from Yogapedia [Internet]. [cited 2022 Sep 9]. Available from: https://www.yogapedia.com/definition/8899/adho-mukha-mandukasana 

3. Frog Pose Yoga (Mandukasana): Benefits And How To Do It [Internet]. [cited 2022 Sep 9]. Available from: https://www.yogabear.org/frog-pose-yoga/ 

4. Mandukasana, Maṇḍūkāsana, Manduka-asana, Mamdukasana: 3 definitions [Internet]. [cited 2022 Sep 9]. Available from: https://www.wisdomlib.org/definition/mandukasana 

5. How To Teach Frog Pose Using Imagery [Internet]. [cited 2022 Sep 9]. Available from: https://georgewatts.org/2010/08/16/how-to-teach-frog-pose/ 

6. Top 7 Health Benefits Of Mandukasana (Frog Pose) – Rishikul Yogshala [Internet]. [cited 2022 Sep 9]. Available from: https://www.rishikulyogshala.org/top-7-health-benefits-of-mandukasana-frog-pose/ 

7. Frog Pose Benefits: How to Get the Most from Mandukasana [Internet]. [cited 2022 Sep 19]. Available from: https://www.healthline.com/health/fitness/frog-pose-benefits#benefits 

Disclaimer: The information provided here is for educational/awareness purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical treatment by a healthcare professional and should not be relied upon to diagnose or treat any medical condition. The reader should consult a registered medical practitioner to determine the appropriateness of the information and before consuming any medication. PharmEasy does not provide any guarantee or warranty (express or implied) regarding the accuracy, adequacy, completeness, legality, reliability or usefulness of the information; and disclaims any liability arising thereof.

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