YOGA POSTURES

Detailed description of various yogasanas

MARJARYASANA – THE CAT POSTURE

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Description :

Marjari in sanskrit means “cat” . Cat Pose Yoga helps initiate movement from the center and in coordinating breath and movement.

Health Benefits :

  • The Cat Pose yoga helps loosen the spine and entire back. It also frees your neck and shoulders while stretching the back and front of your body.
  • The Cat Slant stretches the muscles of the back and contracts the abdominal muscles. It also benefits overall health by stimulating the digestive tract and spinal fluid.
  • It also helps improve circulation through the spine and core.
  • Cat yoga Pose is also great for managing stress and is considered an important stress buster, especially after a tedious meeting or a hard day’s work. This is because it provides a gentle massage to your abdominal organs and spine while stretching shoulders, the middle, right up to the upper

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SETU BANDHASANA – THE BRIDGE POSTURE

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Description :

In sanskrit, ‘Sethu’  means bridge, and ‘Bandha’ means lock. It literally means ‘constructing a bridge’ and mainly comprises of building a sort-of ‘bridge’ with the body, mostly making use of hips and legs. Setu Bandhasana is effective in promoting relaxation and reducing stress. The legs and the hips do most of the work which helps in rejuvenating tired feet.

Health Benefits :

  • Stretches the chest, neck, spine, and hips
  • Strengthens the back, buttocks, and hamstrings
  • Improves circulation of blood
  • Helps alleviate stress and mild depression
  • Calms the brain and central nervous system
  • Stimulates the lungs, thyroid glands, and abdominal organs
  • Improves digestion
  • Helps relieve symptoms of menopause
  • Reduces backache and headache
  • Reduces fatigue, anxiety, and insomnia
  • Rejuvenates tired legs
  • Relieves symptoms of asthma and high blood pressure
  • Therapeutic for hypertension, osteoporosis, and sinusitis

Step 1:

Lie on

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PRASARITA PADOTTANASANA – THE WIDE LEGGED FORWARD BEND POSTURE

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Description :

In sanskrit, “prasarita” means outstretched limbs “pada” means foot and “uttana” means intense stretching.

Health Benefits :

  • Stretches backs of legs and inner groins
  • Tones abdominal organs
  • Calms the brain and eases fatigue
  • Improves circulation

Step 1: Start with the Mountain Pose.

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Step 2: Jump so that your feet are around four feet apart. Slightly turn your heels outward while you look forward.

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Step 3: Bend forward until the upper body stands halfway parallel to the ground. Place your hands right under your shoulders on the ground and see to it that your lower back is straight and still supports your position.

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Step 4: Push, as it were, your pelvis upward, look to the ground and stretch from the neck towards the ground.

If you can do this easily, you can grab the outsides of your feet and

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PASCHIMOTHANASANA – THE SEATED FORWARD BEND POSTURE

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Description :

In sanskrit, Paschima means west and  Uttana means intense stretching. In this asana the posterior portion of the whole body from head to heels is fully stretched.

Health Benefits :

  • Tones up the abdominal organs and keeps them free from sluggishness
  • Tones the kidney, rejenuates the spine
  • Improves digestion
  • Decreases excess weight around the belly
  • Due to extra stretch given to the pelvic region more oxygenated blood is supplied and the gonads receive sufficient nutrition
  • This helps to cure impotency and is also useful for sex control
  • Helps in spiritual attainment
  • Tones the nerves supplying the pelvic organs and arising from the lumber sacral region of the spine

Considerations :

  • People suffering from slip disc should not practice this asana.
  • People suffering from severe back ache should not practice this during pregnancy and menstruation.

Step 1 :

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TRIKONASANA – THE TRIANGLE POSTURE

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Description:

“Trikona” in sanskrit, means “Triangle”. It augments the movement of the Half Spinal Twist and gives an excellent lateral stretch to the spine, toning the spinal nerves and helping the proper functioning of the digestive system.

Health Benefits :

  • Strengthens your legs, feet and ankles
  • Stretches your hips, groins, hamstrings, calves and spine
  • Opens your chest and shoulders
  • Strengthens your back, neck and abdominals
  • Stimulates your abdominal organs, aiding in digestion
  • Therapeutic for stress, anxiety, infertility, flat feet, neck pain, osteoporosis, sciatica and symptoms of menopause
  • Relieves backache, especially during pregnancy

Consideration :

Step 1:

Start with the Downward Facing Dog Pose (Adho Mukha Svanasana).

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Step 2: Move your left foot forward for about 1 meter.

triangle-pose-step2

Step 3: Put your left hand beside your foot and carry your weight with the lower back and on the heels of your

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HALASANA – THE PLOUGH POSTURE

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Description :

In Sanskrit “Hala” means “plow” so that is why Halasana is also known as Plow Pose. While practicing Halasana the structure of entire body seems to be plow shape. This asana is a modified asana of Sarvangasana. Moreover Halasana benefits you in same as it was obtain by practicing Sarvangasana.

Health Benefits :

This asana tones the spinal nerves, the muscle of the back, the vertebral bones and the sympathetic nervous system that runs along the vertebral column on both sides.
Obesity and habitual or chronic constipation, gulma, congestion and enlargements of the liver and spleen are cured by this Asana.
It removes nostril blockage.
Halsana prevents the early ossification of the vertebral bones.
Various sorts of myalgia (muscular rheumatism) lumbago, sprain and neuralgia, are cured by this Asana.
It is much useful asana for those who are

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VRIKSHASANA- THE TREE POSTURE

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Description :

In Sanksrit Vriksha means “Tree”. The challenge of the vriksha-asana is maintaining balance on one leg.

Health Benefits :

Tones the leg muscles and gives one a sense of balance.
Gives willpower, improves the concentration power and a steady mind.
This asana is a compliment asana for sirasasana.

Step1 :

Stand erect with the feet together, the heels and big toes touching each other.

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Step2 :

As you exhale,Bend the left leg at the knee and place the left heel at the root of the right thigh.
Rest the foot on the right thigh, toes pointing downwards.

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Step3 :

As you inhale,Raise the arms side ways, in lines with the shoulders, palm facing down. Keep the arms
parallel to the floor. Balance on the right leg.
tree-pose-step3
Step4 :

As you exhale, bring your palms together in prayer position.

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USHTRASANA – THE CAMEL POSTURE

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Description :

“Ushtra” means a camel. In this asana almost all the limbs of the body are arched like those of a camel. So it is called ushtrasana.

Health Benefits :

People with drooping shoulders and hunched backs will benefit by this asana.This asana expands the chest, improves the breathing capacity of the lungs.Cures asthma by inducing the adrenalin.This asana is a very good asana for the respiratory disorders.

Step 1 :
Kneel on the floor, keeping the thighs and feet together, and toes pointing back and resting on the floor.Rest the buttocks on the body of the feet. i.e., do vajrasana. Keep the both hands on the floor at the back side.Maintain some gap between the two hands.Raise the hip portion with help of the hands. Keep the head down at the back side.

Step2 :
Kneel on the

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MATSYASANA – THE FISH POSTURE

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Description :

Matsya in sanskrit means “Fish”. The name of the posture derives from the fact that if you adopt the position in water, you will float quite easily.

Health Benefits :

  • Stretches your deep hip flexors and intercostals (muscles between the ribs)
  • Relieves tension in your neck, throat, and shoulders
  • Stretches and tones the front of your neck and your abdominals
  • Stretches and stimulates the organs of your belly and throat
  • Strengthens your upper back and the back of your neck
  • Relieves stress and irritation
  • Improves posture
  • Therapeutic for rounded-shoulders, asthma, spasms in the bronchial tubes, and other respiratory issues

Step1 :

Lie down on your back with your legs straight and your feet together. Place your hands, palms down, underneath your thighs.

fish-pose-step1

Step2 :

Pressing down on your elbows, inhale and arch your back. Drop your head back

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AKARNA DHANURASANA – THE SHOOTING BOW POSTURE

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Description :

Akarna-Dhanura-asana in Sanskrit means “The shooting bow pose”. This Asana involves the system of pulling the leg which gives the impression of a bow with an arrow to be shot and hence, the name Dhanurasana.

Health Benefits :

  • It helps and betters the process of digestion, clears constipation and treats indigestion.
  • It also helps in healing pain in the lower areas of the abdomen and also relieves pain in the larger intestines
  • The pose also helps in regularizing the menstrual cycle in most women.
  • Breathing is greatly enhanced with this pose as it increases the capacity of the lungs to retain oxygen.

Considerations:

  • Firstly, if you are a beginner do not try the pose when you are alone.
  • This pose belongs to the intermediate level of yoga poses and therefore if you are novice, you should not try

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MAYURASANA – THE PEACOCK POSTURE

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Description :

In Sanskrit Mayur means “Peacock” and also while practicing this asana the entire body structure looks like a Peacock and hence it is also known Peacock Pose.

Health Benefits :

  • Strengthens the shoulders, arms and wrists
  • Improves balance
  • Puts pressure on the abdomen improving digestion, and relieving indigestion and constipation
  • Stimulates the abdominal organs
  • Stretches the muscles of the forearms, wrists and fingers
  • Beneficial for repetitive stress injuries like carpal tunnel syndrome, and for people who spend a lot of time on the computer.
  • It cures the diseases caused by excess of ‘Vata’, ‘Pitta’ and ‘kafa’ (wind, bile and phlegm). It stops the bleeding caused bypiles. It also prevents diabetes.

Considerations :

People suffering from cervical spondylitis should not practice this asana.Person suffering from high blood pressure avoid this asana.One should not practice this asana once if any

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DANURASANA – THE BOW POSTURE

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Description :

Dhanu in sanscrit means “bow”.This pose is so called because it looks like an archer’s bow, the torso and legs representing the body of the bow, and the arms the string.

Health Benefits :

This asana gives a good massage to the abdomen so it cures prolonged constipation, dyspepsia,and other disorders of the stomach.
Increases energy and counteracts depression.
It cures spinal hump and rheumatism of the legs, the knees and the hands.
It reduces fat. It activates the intestines and increases the digestive power.
It nourishes all the abdominal organs by supplying blood to them. This asana is a blessing to those who suffer from gas and other intestinal disorders.
stretches the chest and lungs.
This asana is very beneficial specially to women because it alleviates the menstrual disorders and improves the reproductive system.
This asana rejuvenates

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ARDHA CHAKRASANA – THE HALF WHEEL POSTURE

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Description :
Ardha chakrasana in sanskrit means “Half wheel pose”. The bend from the waist sideways resembles, half wheel and hence the name.

Health Benefits :
Elasticity of lateral region increases.
Lateral thoracic muscles are stretched and blood supply to them increases.
Hip joints become flexible and excess fat around the waist reduces.
Relieves from back pain, constipation and good for flat foot.
Helps to clear blockages in the lungs and improve breathing.

Step1 :

Stand firmly along with legs together (as in Tadasana).  Press the heels and feet on the floor.

Step2 :

Slowly stretch and raise the right arm above the head and extend with inhalation

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Step3 :

Exhale slowly and move the trunk and right arm towards left side .  the ear will touch the right upper arm.  The left hand should be sided

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BHUJANGASANA – THE COBRA POSTURE

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Description :
In Sanskrit language “Bhujang” stands for “Cobra” and also while practicing Bhujangasana the entire body structure looks like hooded snake that is why it is also known as “Cobra Pose”.

Health benefits :
1)   Bhujangasana benefits you for stimulating endocrine system.
2)   It increases Spine flexibility.
3)   Practicing Bhujangasana steps makes back muscles fit & fine.
4)   It toughens abdominal muscles.
5)   Bhujangasana benefits for overcoming spinal disc problems including slip disk cervical spondylosis.

Considerations :
1)   Pregnant women should avoid practicing this asana.
2)   People suffering from harmful ailments like hernia, hyperthyroidism or intestinal tuberculosis should not practice this asana.
3)   One should not perform this asana if suffering from peptic ulcers.

Step 1: –
First of all lie down on

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SARVANGASANA – THE QUEEN OF ASANAS

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Description :

Sarvangasana is considered to be the ‘Queen of yoga asanas’, due to its varied benefits to the system.Sarvangasana is a combined form of two ancient Sanskrit words “Sarvang” and “Asana”. Sarvang means ‘entire body’ or ‘every limb’. In English it is known as Shoulderstand Pose as it is entirely depending upon shoulders of practitioner. Sarvangasana benefits your entire body including mind and spirit.

Health Benefits :

  • regulation of the sex glands and the pituitary glands
  • stimulation of the nerves
  • improvement in blood circulation
  • increase in efficiency of the thyroid
  • treats asthma, Hemorroids, Digestion problems.

 Considerations :

Women should not do any inverted poses during menstruation as it reverses blood flow. People suffering from blood pressure, glaucoma, hernias, cardiovascular disease, cervical spondylitis, thrombosis, arteriosclerosis, and kidney problems should not practice headstand. Those suffering from neck injuries should perform

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SIRSASANA – THE KING OF ASANAS

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Description :

The name comes from the Sanskrit words Shirsha  meaning “head”  and Asana  meaning “posture”.

Sirsasana, the headstand, is traditionally known as the king of all asanas. It Provides cardio vascular,physiological benefits. Psychologically and emotionally, sirsasana is one of the most powerful and beneficial poses you can do. Sirsasana improves mental concentration and focus and allows for greater ease when practicing seated in meditation. Practicing headstand has been frequently cited as a pose to counteract the symptoms of depression.

Health benefits :

  • Stimulates pituitary and pineal glands, which aid growth and the production of sex hormones
  • Strengthens the spine, neck, shoulders, and arms
  • Tones the legs and abdominal
  • Relieves a buildup of fluid in the legs and feet
  • Allows a healthy, pure blood flow to brain cells
  • Stimulates the nervous system
  • Aids in the treatment of

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SURYA NAMASHKAR – THE SUN SALUTATION

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SURYA NAMASHKAR

(THE SUN SALUTATION)

 

Yoga is a physical, mental and spiritual discipline which helps to be in peace with oneself and their surroundings.  It can be practiced to improve your physical, mental and spiritual well-being. Most people who practice yoga regularly have experienced that they have become better at what ever they are doing.

 

The yoga we are most exposed to is known as Hatha Yoga comprising:

  • Asana: Discipline of the body: rules and postures to keep it disease-free and for preserving vital energy. Correct postures are a physical aid to meditation, for they control the limbs and nervous system and prevent them from producing physical disturbances.
  • Pranayama: control of breath. Beneficial to health, steadies the body and is highly conducive to the concentration of the mind.

Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation) combines both Asanas

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