Start in a squatting position in which your stance less than the distance between your shoulders. Lower your trunk onto the legs, move the pelvis to the front. Now slowly straighten your legs, raise the pelvis up to knee height.
Move the left upper arm and shoulder away from the posterior left thigh above the knee, and rest the left hand flat on the ground, on the outside of the foot. Repeat on the right side.
Now slowly raise yourself. Push your hands into the ground, move your weight backwards. The inner thighs should be placed as high as possible.
Inhale and stretch and straighten the legs on the sides so that your pelvis remains in a high position and legs aligned parallel to the ground.
Lengthen your arms and raise your torso upwards by widening your shoulder blades apart.
Look ahead, and stay in the position for about 10 seconds or as much as your body allows you to, and then come out of the asana by exhaling and returning your feet to the ground.
Stretches the back torso and inner groins.
Provides strength to the arms and wrists.
Tones and tightens the belly.
Enhances the overall sense of balance.
Calms the mind by relieving from tension, stress and anxiety.
Strengthens the wrist
This posture is dedicated to the Monkey God Hanuman, who is an epitome of strength of surrender. Physically this posture is an intense stretch of the thigh area.
Kneel on the floor. Extend your right leg forward and bend your torso with an exhale so that both your hands are on the floor.
Slowly start sliding your right foot forward. As the front leg straightens, resume pressing the left knee back, and carefully descend the front of the left thigh and the back of the right leg (and the base of the pelvis) to the floor. Make sure the center of the right knee points directly up toward the ceiling.
Please make sure that the back leg does not extend to the side back. Extend the front leg by keeping it active and engaged.
If the hip doesn’t reach the floor then hold your body weight on your hands. If it reaches the floor join the hands together in prayer position.
Hold the position for 30 seconds to one minute depending on your comfort level. To come out, press your hands to the floor, turn the front leg out slightly, and slowly return the front heel and the back knee to their starting positions. Then reverse the legs and repeat for the same length of time.
Sit on the floor with your legs straight in front. Shift over onto your right buttock, bend your knees, and swing your legs to the left. Lay your feet on the floor outside your left hip, with the left ankle resting in the right arch.
Twist your torso to the right, keeping the left buttock on or very close to the floor. Lengthen your tailbone toward the floor to keep the lower back long.
Place your left hand under your right knee and bring your right hand to the floor just next to your right buttock.
Press your shoulder blades firmly against your back.
Continue the twist of the torso by turning it to the right; or counter the twist of the torso by turning it left and looking over the left shoulder at your feet.
With every inhalation lift the spine a little more, with every exhalation twist a little more. Stay for 30 seconds to 1 minute, then release with an exhalation, return to the starting position, and repeat to the left for the same length of time.
This asana is a safe way of developing the spinal flexibility.
The twists help to give the abdominal area a gentle massage thus helping heal ailments of the gastro intestinal tract.
Vashishthasana (‘side plank posture’), is a powerful arm balance posture. The name is dedicated to the wisest sage of Yoga.
Start in the adho mukha svanasana (‘downward dog’) and lengthen your arms and your legs.
Lower your hips and shift your weight forward to come into the start of push up posture. Keep your feet together and balance the body.Press your weight down through your right hand and forearm.
Roll your body to the right, balancing on the outer edge of your right foot.
Place your left foot on top of your right foot and keep your legs straight.
Extend your left arm towards the sky and look at your left hand by turning your head.
Do not let your hip drop, hold your body in a straight line. Beginners can take support of the left leg by placing the left knee on the floor. Hold for up to 30 seconds.
Exhale as you slowly return to Plank Pose, then into Downward-Facing Dog.
Repeat on the opposite side.
After both sides, rest in child posture.
(Note: It is important to ensure you are performing the pose with correct alignment.)
The posture is strengthener of your wrists, forearms, shoulders, and spine.
It works on tight hip area and opens the hips and hamstrings. It helps improve balancing ability and concentration.
It also allows strengthening of abdominals for venturing into advanced arm balance postures.
Parighasana, also called the ‘gate posture’, is an excellent posture for grounding the body and mind.
Kneel on the floor with your spine perpendicular to the floor. Extend your right leg away from your body to the right side (not in the front), with knee pointed towards the ceiling.
The left knee should be directly below your left hip joint.
Now, gently place your right hand on your right thigh, take a deep inhalation and simultaneously slide the hand lower towards the right foot.
As you slide it down, raise the left arm upwards. Feel the extension in the torso as you bend towards your right.
Stay stable and sturdy on your knee. Gaze at the ceiling and hold the posture for 30 seconds.
Come up slowly and with awareness on the breath. Keep both hands along side the body and bend the right knee back next to the left.
Repeat on the left side the same way as above.
This posture helps in stabilizing the mind.
It strengthens the legs and improves balancing ability by building the core muscles around the abdomen and waist area.
Sarvangasana or Shoulder stand is an excellent pose that benefits the whole body. It is one of the safest inversion posture and has multitude of benefits.
Lie down on your back and relax your body. Have your arms by your side, palms facing up.
From lying down, bend your knees with your feet still on the floor. Anchor in your shoulders by pressing your head gently on the floor, and strongly with your shoulders and arms. Make sure there’s space between your neck and the floor.
Now gently swing your legs up so that your knees come towards your chest. The buttocks will rise up a little when you life the knees up, immediately bend your arms at the elbow and bring them in to support your back.
Whilst you’re doing this, activate your pelvic floor muscles to help support and protect your back and neck. Your fingers will be pointing up towards the ceiling when your hands are on your lower back and buttocks.
If you are a beginner hold this posture for 5-8 breaths.
If holding this posture is comfortable for you, you can raise the hands along the length of your spine and bring them towards the shoulder blades, this raising up the shoulder stand.
The chest will be pressed against the chin at this stage. If the shoulder stand is steady and comfortable you can try to hold it for one minute.
If this is also comfortable , you can slowly raise the arms along side the body one by one carefully keeping the body balanced.
Shoulder stand should not be done if you have the following:
• You’re in the midst of menstruating
• You have high blood pressure
• You have a migraine or tension headache (your neck will be too stiff)
• You have neck or shoulder problems (for the same reason)
Stand in the Tree posture with arms up and hands together, keep your body weight on right foot and slowly start bending forward.
Allow your body weight to slowly pass on to the front of the right foot as you steadily bring your torso lower and lower till its parallel to the floor.
The left leg is raised and is made parallel to the floor, similarly to the upper body.
Now your whole body is balanced on the right foot, the right leg is held straight, the spine is lengthened and erect and arms are along side the head, the chin is raised up as if you are looking at a point in front of you. The left leg is held straight with toes of the left foot pointed away from the body.
Engage your abdomen so as to hold yourself firmly in the posture, direct the senses inwards except only the eyes which are focusing on a point in front of you.
Hold this posture for 30 seconds and then gently come out of the posture by placing the raised foot on the floor and standing straight in samastithi.
Repeat on the other foot in same way for 30 seconds.
Strengthens the core (abdominal area) and legs.
Improves concentration of mind.
Sit on the floor with your legs extended in front of you. See to it that you sit on the seat bones with an erect spine. If your spine does not get erect because of tightness in the lower or upper back, then bend your knees slightly to remove the pressure from your lower back.
Now, lean back slightly, around 30-40 degrees and as you lean back focus and engage your abdominal muscles.
Gently lift the legs up with an exhale, and lengthen your spine and tail bone. Extend your arms till they are parallel to the floor and in direction of your feet, keeping the chin parallel to the floor and breath normally.
If the above is not possible, try it by placing the hands on the floor next to your upper thighs and raising the legs by pressing the palms into the floor.
Retain the posture for 10-15 seconds and gradually increase the time to one minute.
Strengthens the abdomen, thighs, lower back and shoulder area
Improves digestion by stimulating the digestive tract.
Corrects postural alignment.
Vrikshasana – Tree Posture
Stand erect with the feet together firmly placed on the floor and the arms by your sides.
Balancing on the left foot, bend the right leg at the knee, raise the right thigh and bring the sole of the right foot as high up the inside of the left thigh as possible.
Raise both arms over the head keeping the elbows straight and joining the palms together.
Hold the posture while breathing gently through the nostrils for about 10 complete deep breaths.
Lower the arms and right leg and return to the neutral standing position with feet together and arms at the sides.
Pause for a few moments and repeat on the opposite leg.
This is essentially a balance posture. Poor balance is often the result of a restless mind or distracted attention.
Regular practice of this posture will help focus the mind, cultivate concentration and improve balance and coordination.
It also builds strength in thighs and lower back.
This is also a balance posture like Natarajasana.
Stand firmly on both the feet in Samasthiti.
Focus your eyes on a point for concentration.
Shift your body weight on your left foot, raise the right leg in the front and hold the right big toe with the right hand.
Keeping the balance slowly bring the right leg toward the right side of your body.
Now let go off the right big toe and hold the right knee with your right elbow from underneath.
Straighten the right leg as much as you can keeping a firm balance on the left leg.
Hold for 10 counts and switch the leg and continue.
This asana is very beneficial to develop ability of concentration and physical balance.
It works on the abdominal area, and helps make the thigh and hip joint strong and flexible.