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Benefits of Parvatasana (Mountain Pose) and How to Do it By Dr. Himani Bisht

By Dr. Himani Bisht +2 more

Introduction 

The science of Yoga has its origin way before the birth of any civilisation or belief system. It is believed that Agastya, the Saptarishi travelled across India, crafting the core cultures of the Yogic way of life.  

parvatasana yoga

During the 69th meeting of the United Nations General Assembly, it was declared that 21st June will be commemorated as the ‘International Day of Yoga’. In addition, our Hon’ble Prime Minister, Mr. Narendra Modi, urged us to adopt the invaluable gift of Yoga.  

People who are more active and do regular physical activities tend to live a healthier life. Additionally, it increases your ability to do daily chores and gain countless health benefits. Now, it’s your time to make a few lifestyle choices and get yourself introduced to Yoga. 

So, today in this blog, we feature one simple Yogasana, Parvatasana. It includes a type ‘Inverted Parvatasana’ which is the most commonly known pose. For the sake of this article, inverted parvatasana is the one that is being described. However, for ease of description, we shall refer to it as Parvatasana. 

Did you know?

  • Regular practice of Parvatasana can improve overall body flexibility and range of motion.Source: ncbi
  • Regular practice of Parvatasana can relieve stress and anxiety. Source: ncbi
  • Parvatasana can help improve lung capacity and respiratory function by promoting deep breathing and expanding the chest. source: PMC

What is Parvatasana? 

Parvatasana is a part of Surya Namaskar asana. It is an ancient practice of offering prayers to the rising Sun early in the morning along with physical postures.1 

Parvatasana is a Sanskrit word in which ‘Parvata’ means mountain and asana means ‘pose’ or ‘posture’. Hence, it is also called ‘mountain pose’ because the final position of the body resembles the shape of a mountain.1 

Just like the strong nature of the mountains, this mountain pose yoga brings the qualities of strength, stability and persistence to our body.2 

Parvatasana has two major variations: 

  • Seated Parvatasana (seated mountain pose) is a seated upward stretching pose. It helps to straighten the spine and back of the body by stretching them in the upward direction.2  
  • Inverted Parvatasana is the simplest form of inverted posture. It stretches the legs and arms downward, placing the head below the heart. It helps boost the circulatory system as the arms and legs are fully extended.3 

Other variations of parvatasana are listed below. However, these variations are yet to studied more. 

  • Lotus Pose. 
  • Scale Pose. 
  • Seated Mountain Pose in Auspicious Pose. 
  • Half Lotus Pose. 
  • Half Lotus Pose Variation Hands Behind Head Side Bend. 
  • Revolved Half Bound Lotus Pose Forward Fold. 
  • Half Lotus Pose Arms Raised Forward Bend Flow. 
  • Half Lotus Pose Hands Flow. 

I highly recommend the regular practice of Parvatasana to everyone. I recently read an article, and it said that practising Parvatasana increases lung volumes, breath-holding duration, and chest wall expansion which may contribute to the development of cardiovascular endurance.

Dr. Siddharth Gupta, B.A.M.S, M.D (Ayu)

How to do it? 

Following a proper technique to perform any asana is essential to obtain its full benefit. The following steps will help you to do Parvatasana yoga: 

  • Start by sitting in the Padmasana pose (legs crossed with left foot on right thigh and right foot on left thigh). Keep your hands on respective sides, chest forward, neck straight and eyes fixed on a single point with a straight head. 
  • Inhale and raise both arms together and make an upward stretch. 
  • Join the palms with each other in this upward stretch position. You can either interlace the fingers or keep the palms joined. 
  • Bring the hands close to the ears and keep your back straight.  
  • Avoid bending the arms at the elbow and wrists, keeping them straight and stretched and gaze fixed at a single point. 
  • Hold this fully stretched position with joined palms for at least 6 seconds and retain the breath. 
  • Now, to return to the starting position, exhale, open the palms, and bring the arms down to complete one round.  
  • You may practice it for up to four rounds without pause and beginners may start with one round. 
  • To try variations while in seated mountain pose asana, bend to your right/left side, keeping the head between the arms. Let the spine arch sideways with no movement below the waist. 
  • Likewise, you may also try bending backwards and forward. You might complete one cycle of each variation and practice two rounds of the above variations.2 

In this 5g era, we’re stuck with our mobile phones and laptops most of the time working, playing, or even for entertainment. This has made lower back pain very prominent and a common complaint. From my experience, when Parvatasana collaborates with other yoga asanas, such as in Suryanamaskar, it may do wonders for our back and overall health! I recently read an article which suggests that this yogasana may help people with acute lower back pain feel better and have a less functional impairment and better quality of life.

Dr. Rajeev Singh, BAMS

Do You Know?  

Here is an interesting fact about the Parvatasana pose: 

  • Parvatasana is a part of Surya Namaskar and is ideally done early in the morning, facing the rising Sun. Our body gets the rich vitamin D by soaking in rays of the Sun.1 
  • The mountain pose assumes a triangle shape in its final posture. A triangle represents the flow of energy connecting mind-body-spirit. The triangle shape formed during the mountain pose brings the mind to the present state and roots in the spiritual nature, increasing the concentration power.3  
  • On the event of the 2nd International Yoga Day, a woman doing an inverted Parvatasana yoga pose was projected on the iconic United Nations headquarters building.4 

Let me give you a healthy tip! Get the habit of regular practice of Parvatasana and its modifications in your daily routine. Studies have shown that Adho Mukha Parvatasana, a type of Parvatasana, may relieve neck stress and improve blood circulation while strengthening the muscles in the hands and wrists.

Dr. Smita barode, B.A.M.S, M.S.

Benefits of Parvatasana 

Some of the potential benefits of Parvatasana are:  

1. Benefits of Parvatasana for Spine Posture 

A proper body posture is important to your overall health, helping avoid muscle tension and body pain. One may achieve a good body posture by correcting minor spine defects and unnatural spine curvature. Daily practising mountain pose yoga might help correct the positional defects in the spine by straightening of the spine and back muscles. The unnatural curves in the spine may get properly re-arranged and the improper displacements of the spinal vertebrae (spine column) may also be corrected with the Parvatasana pose, resulting in proper spine posture.2  

2. Benefits of Parvatasana for Belly Fat Reduction 

Everybody wishes for a flat tummy and slim waist; however, we all know it is hard but not impossible. Scientists have observed that Yoga helps with managing body fat. Practising Parvatasana pose regularly might help you lose excess waist fat as it acts as a fat-burning exercise. Parvatasana variations activate the waist zone and stretch the abdominal muscles. These waist movements and extending help reduce the accumulated fat near the belly. Hence, mountain posture might help you reduce your flabby stomach.1,2 

3. Other benefits of Parvatasana 

  • Parvatasana pose may help strengthen the muscles of both legs and arms by loosening the joints and toning the muscles making them more flexible.1 
  • Mountain position yoga helps to loosen the hips by stretching the pelvic and abdominal muscles.2 
  • Parvatasana yoga may enhance blood circulation in the spinal region and increase the efficiency of the nerves coming out of the spinal column by fixing minor displacements of the spine.2 

Yoga practice may help develop the mind and body; however, it is still not an alternative to modern medicines. Therefore, you should not rely on Yoga alone to treat any condition. Instead, consult a qualified doctor who will be able to assess your condition correctly and advise accordingly. Furthermore, practising and learning Yoga under the supervision of a trained professional to avoid injuries is necessary. 

Risks of Exercise  

The following are a few contraindications and risks of Parvatasana posture: 

Contraindications- conditions in which the mountain pose is not to be performed are: 

  • Arthritis 
  • High blood pressure 
  • Spinal injuries 
  • Heart complaints 

Risks- 

  • People with spinal injuries and abnormalities should not perform mountain pose as it involves spine movement and might cause complications.2 
  • People with arthritis of any joint must avoid Parvatasana as it may increase pain and cause wear and tear of bones of the affected area.2 
  • People with high blood pressure problems and heart complaints must avoid the Parvatasana pose because it might worsen the condition.2 

With the guidance of a trained yoga master, you can assess and analyse the risk factors and continue to practise the Parvatasana pose with more precautions.  

Conclusion 

Parvatasana is a part of Surya Namaskar Yoga. Parvatasana yoga is also called mountain pose, as the final position of the body resembles the shape of a mountain. Parvatasana yoga pose may be performed with variations such as seated and inverted mountain pose. Parvatasana benefits from removing spinal defects and helps to achieve proper spine posture by strengthening the spinal column. In addition, it helps in stretching and toning the legs and arms muscles. Mountain yoga position is also called fat-burning exercise. However, you must always follow the instructions given by your yoga trainer to gain the maximum benefits and avoid injuries. 

Frequently Asked Questions  

What is Parvatasana? 

Parvatasana is a yoga pose. It is a Sanskrit name in which ‘Parvata’ means mountain and asana means ‘posture’; therefore, it is known as mountain pose. Parvatasana is an essential part of Surya Namaskar yoga, ideally done facing the rising Sun.1   

What are the variations of mountain pose? 

The variations of the mountain pose include the seated mountain pose in which the body is stretched in the upward direction by extending the arms and back in a straight position. In the same position, one can try to bend in the right/left direction or front/back by arching the spine while keeping the waist in the same position. Another variation is the inverted mountain pose, in which the legs and arms are stretched downward, placing the head below the heart.2,3 

What are the contraindications of Parvatasana? 

The contraindications of Parvatasana include high blood pressure, heart problems, arthritis, spinal abnormalities, etc., because mountain pose yoga might worsen these conditions.2 

What are the benefits of mountain pose for the spine? 

Parvatasana benefits are associated with attaining a good spine posture. Regularly practising mountain pose might help correct any defects in the spinal arrangement and curvature. It may also straighten and tone the back muscles. It may also enhance spinal blood circulation and the efficiency of the nerves of the spinal column.2 

Does Parvatasana help in reducing fat?  

Yes. Parvatasana might help in reducing belly fat. It is also referred to as fat-burning exercise. It activates the waist regions and helps to stretch the abdominal muscles. These waist movements and stretching of muscles help reduce the residual fats around the belly region.1,2 

References 

  1. Hipparagi M, Gangadhar P. Suryanamaskar for human wellness. Interna J of Physi Edu, Spor and Hea. 2019;6(4):81–4. Available from: https://www.kheljournal.com/archives/2019/vol6issue4/PartB/6-4-7-230.pdf 
  1. How to Do Parvatasana – Mountain Pose in Yoga, Check Health Benefits [Internet]. [cited 2022 Sep 8]. Available from: https://theyogainstitute.org/parvatasana-the-mountain-pose-in-yoga/ 
  1. Parvatasana – Devi Mandir [Internet]. [cited 2022 Sep 7]. Available from: https://www.shreemaa.org/parvatasana/ 
  1. Parvatasana Lights Up United Nations Building Ahead of International Yoga Day [Internet]. [cited 2022 Sep 7]. Available from: https://www.ndtv.com/india-news/parvatasana-lights-up-united-nations-building-ahead-of-international-yoga-day-1421086 

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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