By Dr Raghuram Y.S. MD (Ay) & Dr Manasa, B.A.M.S
In this pose the practitioner assumes the shape of a frog and hence the name. There is another yoga pose called Bhekasana which also translates to frog pose but the method of doing the pose differs in both cases.
Manduka = frog
Asana = pose
It is one of the important poses which gives good massage to the abdominal organs and burns extra fat around your belly.
It is also called as Frog Pose III. Its variants Adho Mukha Mandukasana and Bhekasana are called as Frog Poses I and II respectively.
Read – Health Benefits Of Yoga: Mind And Body
Preparation for Mandukasana
- Mandukasana i.e. frog pose is done in the early hours of the day preferably. It may alternatively be done in the evening if morning schedules do not allow you to perform the pose.
- It is done on empty stomach. Keep bowel and bladder empty before performing this pose.
- Food shall be taken 4-6 hours before performing mandukasana.
Method of doing Manduka Asana
- First sit in Vajrasana. Be comfortable
- Push your thumbs inside palms, make fists.
- Put your fists at the navel.
- Deeply inhale.
- Bend forward as you exhale. Put maximum pressure on the navel.
- See that your chest should touch your thigh as you bend forward. Just like a frog, see ahead with open eyes.
- Keep in the pose as long as you can and comfortable in.
- While maintaining in the pose, inhale and exhale slowly.
- With a deep inhale come back to the thunderbolt pose.
- Perform the asana 3-5 times.
- Sit in Vajrasana.
- Place left palm on navel area. Keep the right palm over the left palm.
- Inhale deeply.
- Now exhale and bend forward.
- Give stretch on naval through your palms.
- Hold in this pose as long as you can. Slowly inhale and exhale while doing the pose.
- At release, come back to the thunderbolt pose with deep inhale.
Health Benefits of Mandukasana
- Gives a good massage to the abdominal organs and enables smooth functioning of these organs
- Enables weight loss, makes belly flat
- Good for shoulders and chest
- Strengthens back, hips, ankles and knees
- Beneficial for those suffering from indigestion and constipation, improves digestion power
- Helps release gas from stomach and intestines
- Stimulates pancreas, helps deal with diabetes
- Remedy for naval displacement
- Cures asthma
- Good exercise for heart
- Helps improve cardiovascular health, prevents heart ailments like attack, stroke, and high cholesterol, blockages in arteries etc.
- The pose imposes pressure on the chest and helps open the chest muscles, improves circulation
- Enhances functioning of liver and kidney
- Good remedy for menstrual cramps
- Improves sexual health by stimulating the sexual organs and enhancing sexual performance
- Relieves stress, depression and anxiety
- Helps in awakening Kundalini energy
Read – Sarvangasana – Shoulder Stand Pose, Method, Benefits, Dosha Effect
Preliminary Asanas / Preparatory Asanas
Vajrasana – thunderbolt pose
Uddiyana Bandha – trains to pull and engage your abdominal muscles and strengthen the core muscles. This is important because the core muscles are active while you are practicing Mandukasana.
Prasarita Balasana – Extended Child Pose – helps to reach the floor with forehead and face while stretching your back.
Uttanasana – Standing Forward Fold Pose – helps to contract the abdominal muscles to optimum level.
Follow up Poses
Adho Mukha Shvanasana – Downward Facing Dog Pose
Baddha Konasana – Bound Angle Pose
Halasana – Plough / Plow Pose
Salamba Sirshasana – Supported Headstand
Bakasana – Crow Pose
Paschimottasana – Seated Forward Bend
Utkatasana – Chair Pose
The variations of frog pose which are also advance level practices encourage a deep backbend followed with the opening of heart. They include –
Ardha Bhekasana – Half Frog Pose
Bhekasana – Frog Pose II
Adho Mukha Mandukasana – Frog Pose I
Read – Types Of Pranayama – Effect on Health – Through An Ayurveda View-Point
Support the knees will enable you to stay in the pose for longer. Keep blankets or rolled up mats beneath knees.
If pressing the fists against your tummy over the navel is uneasy, you can open your palms and place them on either side of navel.
You can support forehead with a block. This will avoid pressure on your chest. You can remain in this pose longer with awareness of your breath.
Alternatively, instead of making fists against your navel, you can interlock your fingers behind you. Stretching your arms behind you while you take your torso forward is a good alternative if you are a beginner.
Time spent in the pose
Hold in the final pose for 2-3 minutes or for whatever time you are comfortable doing. Repeat 3-5 times.
Impact on Chakras
Mandukasana opens up the swadhishtana chakra i.e. spleen or sacral chakra which is the center of pleasure, enjoyment and creativity. The activation of this chakra promotes focus, inner acceptance and productivity. It also awakens the Kundalini energy.
Read – Chakra – Kundalini: Introduction, Meaning, Types, Location, Ayurveda View
- Severe backache
- Knee pain
- Ankle injuries
- High blood pressure
- Those who have undertaken surgery around the abdomen
- Those having weak knee joints
Don’t stretch stomach too much. Try to keep in the pose for as long as possible.
Pregnant woman should avoid the pose.
Impact of Mandukasana on doshas and tissues
Impact on Doshas – Mandukasana improves digestion and cures indigestion, stimulates pancreas and is good for liver. Therefore it is beneficial in balancing samana vata, pachaka pitta and ranjaka pitta. It also relieves constipation and bloating, is good for health of reproductive system and cures menstrual cramps. Therefore it is good in balancing the apana vata. It cures asthma and is good for heart heath and hence balances udana vata. It relieves stress, depression and anxiety, and hence balances the axis of prana vata – sadhaka pitta – tarpaka kapha.
Impact on tissues – this pose strengthens and stretches the muscles, bones and joints, therefore it supports the muscle and bone tissues and the channels which carry these tissues. It removes excessive fat around belly, thigh and flanks and hence is beneficial for fat tissue and fat carrying channels.