Heartfulness proposes meditation on the heart with an aim of attaining subtler levels of consciousness. The heart is not merely a pump for blood circulation – its role goes far beyond that. References in ancient Indian literature on Yoga, especially that from Sages like Patanjali,…
by Shri A. Velusamy, B.E., M.B.A.,
IYA LM, Yoga Teacher
Etymology and origins
The name comes from the Sanskrit words eka meaning “one”; paḍa, meaning “leg”; sirsa, meaning ”head”; veda meaning “earliest Indian scripture”; parayana meaning “recitation’; and asana meaning “posture” or “seat”.
Eka Pada Sirsa Vedaparayanasana, (Sanskrit: एक पाद सिर्श वेद पारायनािना) or Yogic Reading Pose is one of the reclining forward-bending asanas.
This posture is unique to the Yoga Legend of south India, late Yogachariya Mayuram G.P. Velan’s School of Yoga. Currently, this posture is not available in any other Yoga School in India or abroad and is not documented anywhere. In the year 1976, I have learned directly from him (my first Yoga Guru) at Nachimuthu Polytechnic College, Pollachi, Tamil Nadu, where he was teaching Yoga (refer to the attached copy of the Certificate 1976 – 1977). Since that time, whenever I get an opportunity, I used to demonstrate this posture-Eka Pada Sirsa Vedaparayanasana at various places for the last 45 years (refer to attached photos).
In Eka Pada Sirsa Vedaparayanasana, the back is on the ground, one leg in half Padmasana and the other leg on the back of the neck. The effect is of a strong forward bend.
Lie on the floor flat on the back
Bend the right knee and place the right foot on the left thigh in half Padmasana
Bend the left knee, bring the foot near the trunk and grasp the left ankle with both hands. Exhale, pull the left thigh up and back, bend the trunk a little up and place the left leg on the back of the neck. The outer side of the left leg just above the ankle will touch the back of the neck.
Raise the head and neck up and let go of the left ankle.
Raise both the arms up, palms facing the face, let the inner edge of each palm touch, and make it like an open book.
Stay in this pose for 15 to 30 seconds with normal breathing. Drop the hands, release the left leg, release and stretch the right leg and return to position 1.
Repeat the pose on the right side, placing the left foot on the right thigh in half Padmasana and placing the right leg behind the neck. Keep the pose on both sides for the same length of time.
By the practice of this posture, the neck, and the back grow stronger. Improves Concentration. The abdominal muscles are contracted and compressed, the digestive power increases.