6 Pillar Challenge

6 Pillar Challenge- Endurance Pillar – Kumbhakasana

Kumbhakasana is one of the most foundational poses in yoga for a lot of good reasons. Its name comes from the Sanskrit words “Kumbhak,” meaning “breath retention,” and “asana,” meaning “pose.”

It’s a beginner’s best friend and a perfect precursor to more challenging arm balances. Each time one does this grounding pose, it increases the muscular endurance while building abdominal strength and power in your arms and wrists along with strengthening the muscles surrounding the spine, therefore improving the posture as well.

As planks are also part of Surya Namaskar sequences, it’s easy to cruise through them during a vinyasa without focusing much on alignment. So it is important to dedicate some time in your practice exploring planks on their own.

Kumbhakasana not only helps in improving abdominal strength but also helps in building focus and confidence. It is one of the asanas that will boost the Endurance Pillar of Yogic Wellness.  To know more about the 6 Pillars of Yogic Wellness click here.

Endurance Challenge:

Hold Kumbhakasana for 108 sec.

Why you should take this Challenge?


A 108-second plank hold can boost your fitness in a big way and here are some of the benefits of practising Kumbhakasana.

  • The chest expansion that occurs through this asana gives great support to the chest muscles and thus improves the respiratory system
  • The entire body is stretched, which improves the spine and provides the body a great-looking posture.
  • It treats sleeplessness, migraines, unpleasant symptoms associated with menopause, osteoporosis, and overall bodily weakness.

To get the best out of kumbhakasana, incorporate the six core elements of the yogic diet in your meal. Find out more benefits of a Yogic Diet here.

Follow the steps for performing Kumbhakasana:

  • Start in Downward Facing Dog pose. Inhale and drag your chest forward until your arms are parallel to the floor and your shoulders are squarely over your wrists, and your torso is parallel to the floor.
  • Firm the bases of your index fingers into the floor by pressing your outer arms inward.
  • Firm your shoulder blades against your back then spread them away from the spine. Also, spread your collarbones away from the sternum.
  • As you prolong your tailbone toward the heels, press your front thighs up toward the ceiling while resisting your tailbone toward the floor.
  • Keep the throat and eyes soft by lifting the base of the skull away from the back of the neck and looking straight down at the floor.


Though Kumbhakasana may seem easier and the best way to increase endurance, it should better be done simultaneously with other small challenges on a regular basis to build endurance. Check out mini-challenges and programmes that aid holistic Yogic development.

Contraindications

  • The asana should not be practised if one is suffering from arms, legs, wrists injury.
  • Anyone with low or high blood pressure should avoid this position since it puts a lot of pressure on the chest while balancing.
  • Patients with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome should avoid Plank Pose entirely since it puts pressure on the elbows and wrists.
  • If you’re dealing with anxiety, Plank Pose should be avoided because the mind and body require a lot of concentration, and trying to focus on these concerns will just add to your tension.
  • Plank Pose should be avoided by those with osteoporosis because of the risk of fractures.
  • Always stay within your own capabilities and restrictions. Before doing yoga, see your doctor if you have any medical problems.

Take the challenge and share your Pics and updates in the comments below. Also, tag us on Instagram @Sattviko #6PillarChallenge