Bhadrasana (Gracious Pose): Steps, Benefits and Contraindications

Bhadrasana, also known as Gracious Pose, strengthens the thighs, backbone, buttocks, and hips while lengthening the spine and opening the hips, and eliminating diseases.

This yoga pose is a basic yoga pose suitable for beginners. The pose is a great pose for meditation as it is comfortable and can be held for long periods of time.

Experts believe that practicing it destroys diseases, removes fatigue and strengthens the reproductive organs. This Asana helps in normal child delivery. It calms the mind and brings about feelings of groundedness. The mudra also activates the Muladhara Chakra or the Root Chakra.

Information

Known as:Bhadrasana, Gracious Pose, Gorakshasana, Cowherd Pose
Sanskrit name:भद्रासन
IAST:Bhadrāsana
Pronunciation:bha-DRAHS-uh-nuh
Level:Beginner
Type:Seated, Hip opener
Focus:Hips, thighs, backbone, buttocks
Time:60 to 120 seconds
Drishti:Forward;
Eye closed;
Nose (Nasagrai or Nasagre);
Third eye, between the eyebrows (Bhrumadhye or Ajna Chakra)
Chakra:Muladhara Chakra, Svadhisthana Chakra
Indications:Digestion, respiratory system, asthma, thyroid gland, reproductive, abdominal organs, prostate, kidneys, urinary tract, anal-rectal diseases, hemorrhoids, hernia, pelvic floor, genital-urinary system, spinal nerves, neck, back, sciatica, gastritis, acidity, constipation
Counterpose:Paschimottanasana (Seated Forward Bend Pose), Setu Bandha Sarvangasana (Bridge Pose), Siddhasana (Accomplished Pose or Perfect Pose), Padmasana (Lotus Pose)
Preparatory poses:Veerasana (Hero Pose), Vajrasana (Thunderbolt Pose), Supta Padangusthasana (Reclining Hand-to-big-toe Pose), Vriksasana (Tree Pose)
Follow-up poses:Vrksasana (Tree Pose), Any forward and twisted pose can be done
Contraindications:Arthritis, sciatic nerve, Hip pathologiesknee injurygroin injury, or inguinal hernias

Meaning

The Bhadrasana is derived from the Sanskrit name, which is made up of two words — Bhadra + Asana:

  1. Bhadra” = “gracious or auspicious or blessed or throne”
  2. Asana” = “pose or posture”
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Asana is mentioned in yoga texts such as the Hatha Yoga Pradipika (one of the most recognized books on yoga) as well as the Gheranda Samhita.

Yogi Swatmarama, author of Hatha Yoga Pradipika, mentions that Bhadrasana is one of the four main Asanas of meditation. In the Hatha Yoga Pradipika it’s described as the fourth Asana, suitable for prolonged sitting.

According to Swatmarama it is also called Gorakshasana, and some call it Moola Bandhasana, but the position of the feet in these postures is slightly different.

Benefits of Bhadrasana (Gracious Pose)

Bhadrasana is an extremely excellent Asana for spiritual seekers, it provides health benefits similar to Padmasana (Lotus Pose), Siddhasana (Accomplished Pose or Perfect Pose), and Vajrasana (Thunderbolt Pose).

However, the physical and mental benefits of this yoga posture are listed below:

  1. Physical Benefits:
    • Strengthens the thighs, backbone, buttocks, and hips
    • Stretches the feet, thighs, ankles, and pelvic floor muscles
    • Opens the hips
    • Lengthens the spine
    • Improve the posture
    • Improves the blood circulation
    • Aids in spermicide (excessive, involuntary ejaculation)
    • Prevents inguinal hernia
    • Regulates testosterone secretion
    • Energizes sexual energy
    • Better fertility and libido
    • Improves the serotonin level
    • Improves the joint mobility of the knee, ankle, sacral, hip
    • Stimulate the hypothalamus gland
    • Enhances the functioning of the reproductive and abdominal organs along with the thyroid gland
    • Activates other glands of the body through chemical messengers (hormones)
    • Improve digestion
    • Relieve symptoms of gastritis, acidity, and constipation
    • Useful in relieving respiratory problems like asthma
    • Improves prostate, kidney, and urinary tract health
    • Stimulates ovaries and remove frigidity
    • Helps to cure anal-rectal diseases, piles, and hernia
    • Increases elasticity of joints in thighs and knees
    • Stimulates the spinal nerves
    • Relieves the back pain and neck pain
    • Solution for sciatica
    • Gives new energy and vigor to the body
  2. Mental Benefits:
    • Calms the mind
    • Improves the concentration and focus
    • Improve the brain power
    • Reduces the stress
    • Relives the anxiety
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Bhadrasana (Gracious Pose) Practice Guide

The Asana position is for advanced practitioners and people with very tender ankles. Bhadrasana intuitively induces Moola Bandha and tones the reproductive organs, reducing diseases related to those organs.

Step-by-step instructions to Bhadrasana (Gracious Pose)

Bhadrasana - Gracious Pose - Fitzabout
image: instagram/pooja
  • Sit in Vajrasana (Thunderbolt Pose) and separate your knees as far as you can.
  • Then place your ankles under the sides of the scrotum or vagina.
  • The heels of your feet are placed together, and the balls of your feet are under your buttocks.
  • When the sitting position is complete, clasp your toes behind you and stabilize your body.
  • Close your eyes and focus on your breath, a given symbol or mantra.

Gorakshasana (Cowherd Pose)

Gorakshasana - mula bandhasana - bhadrasana - Fitzabout
image: instagram/ainyoga_
  • Gorakshasana (Cowherd Pose), however, is a little different as you sit with your feet in front of the waist, the balls of your feet on the ground, heels together.
  • Your right hand is placed on your left heel and your left hand is placed on your right heel.

Moola Bandha Asana

  • Moola Bandhasana is also a form of Bhadrasana.
  • You sit on your feet, with the soles of your feet together, your heels pressing against your anus, the sides of your feet pressing against your perineum or vagina, and your toes pointing forward.

Precautions and contraindications

The following precautions and contraindications should be kept in mind while practicing Bhadrasana:

Injury or surgery, illness, or physical strength

  • Persons with back injury should not strictly practice Bhadrasana. This can make your injury worse.
  • In case of any type of injury to your knee – a tear of a ligament, worn joints (where the lubrication between the joints has deteriorated), or rheumatoid arthritis, Gracious Pose should be avoided.
  • Also, individuals who have had knee, ankle, hip surgery should avoid this yoga pose.
  • A person with stiffness in the hips and pelvis should start this yoga pose under the guidance of an experienced yoga teacher/instructor/guru.
  • In case of any of the above reasons, to counter this discomfort, a cushion, or blanket can be placed under the hips and ankles or bolsters can be placed under your knees.
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Senior citizen

Senior citizens can practice at a slow pace or under the guidance of an experienced yoga teacher/instructor/guru, as their knees and ankles are weak, and they find it difficult to even sit on the floor.

Pregnant women

Pregnant women should avoid this yoga pose till the second trimester. This is because hip opening is not recommended until then. In the first semester the womb is strengthened, and such opening can lead to miscarriage.

Lack of body-breathing connection

Since Bhadrasana (Gracious Pose) is a meditative pose, awareness of the breath is essential in this pose. One focuses on opening the hips and stretching the waist with a relaxed breath. With each exhalation, they practice gradually widening the opening. Therefore, individuals who lack breath awareness may jolt their stretch and may not be able to measure a permanent stretch. This can cause damage to the waist and hip. Such a person should not be encouraged for this yoga pose.

Trauma or Anxiety or Therapy or Restorative

One can treat mild depression and anxiety with this mudra as it acts to calm the nervous system. But one has to go slow for the person who has gone through the trauma. With the opening of your hip, there may be an influx of negative energy which is difficult for you to handle.

Although this yoga pose can be used for the treatment of kidney, knee and reproductive diseases, you need to avoid this practice if you have any major kidney problems, osteoporosis, weak knee joints, deformed spine and rheumatoid arthritis.

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