“Hamsa” means swan. Two swans representing breath and spirit called Ham and Sa appear in the ancient text Saundarya Lahari. They dwell in the mind of the Great and subsist on the honey of the blooming lotus of knowledge. Ham is the in breath and Sa is the out. While practicing Swan pose or meditating, practicing the Hamsa breath can be beneficial. As you exhale, create the sound ham with your breath and in your mind. As you inhale, create the sound Sa with your breath and in your mind. This asana is also sometimes called pigeon pose.
Benefits of Swan Pose
- Stretches the hip joints in adduction and flexion.
- Creates greater flexibility in the gluteal muscles and deep rotator muscles of the hips.
- Stretches and detoxifies the lymph nodes in the groin, giving a boost to the immune system.
- People suffering from knee, hip, pelvic, low back or ankle pain should begin with modifications.
- Before positioning yourself in swan pose, make sure that your hips and ankles are properly warmed up. It can be advisable to practice several hip opening yoga asanas to open and warm up the hips first.
- Start on all fours. Bring your right knee forward between your hands with the heel of your right foot close to the left hip crease. Slide your left knee back, lengthening the left leg and squaring your hips to the mat.
- Place your hands underneath your shoulders and feel the weight evenly distributed across your palms.
- Feel the pelvic floor lift up into Mulabandha.
- Use these Bandhas to protect your lower back as you press your left thigh into the earth.
- Inhale and reach your torso up into Swan lift, your heart lifting to the sky.
- Feel your hips release, and feel energy floating down toward your knees.
- Hinge forward from the hips and exhale into swan dive. Keep the spine long and feel a deeper stretch in the gluteal muscles on the right side of the body. Fold your hands on top of each other and rest your forehead on the backs of your hands.
- Feel the stretch all along your left thigh and deep in the psoas muscle.
- Feel the release of tension in your forehead and facial muscles as your head rests on the backs of your arms.
- Press your hands under your shoulders. Lift knees off the mat. Draw your right knee back under your hip and come onto all fours.