Hanumanasana

Hanumanasana
Hanumanasana

Hanumanasana
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.

Step-by-step

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.

Bharadvajasana

Bharadvajasana
Bharadvajasana

Bharadvajasana

Step-by-step

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.

Benefits

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.

Vamadevasana

Vamadevasana
Vamadevasana

Vamadevasana

This posture is dedicated to the great Sage Vamadeva.

Step-by-step
(To execute this posture, one needs a lot of flexibility in the area of hip and thighs, so warming up of the hip joint area is essential before this posture is performed.)

Start with a downward dog posture.
Stretch your hamstrings deeply and bend the right knee to get in the pigeon posture.
See to it that you are sitting on the right hip with knee bent in such a way that the right heel is close to the perineum.
Extend your left leg straight behind so that your upper body is straight and perpendicular to the floor.
Hold your right foot with your right hand and lift it off the floor, bend the left knee and hold the left foot in the left hand.
Gently try to bring the feet together. Make sure you don’t feel any discomfort in your knees and your lower spine.
Hold the posture for 10 counts and switch the side.

Benefits
This is an excellent posture to make the hip joint more flexible and to work on abdominal muscles.
The thighs and the gluteus muscles are stretched to their fullest degree and helps in strengthening and keeping these muscles supple.

Parivratta Janu Sirshasana

Parivratta Janu Sirshasana
Parivratta Janu Sirshasana

Step-by-step
Sit on the floor with right leg extended at 45 degrees outwards facing the corner of the room and the left leg folded so that the heal is in front of the perineum.
Extend the right hand and hold the right big toe, bring the right elbow either to the floor in front of the right knee or keep the elbow on the right knee depending on level of flexibility.
Raise the left arm up and stretch the arm towards the sky.
Slowly and with awareness bring the left hand closer to the right foot, so that the left elbow is pointing towards the sky.
See to it that you open up the rib cage by pushing the shoulder blades back and looking upwards.
Breath deeply and normally.
Retain the posture for 10 deep breaths.
Repeat on the other leg.

Benefits
Deeply stretches the sides of the body
Removes lethargy from the lower part of the body
Helps in developing hip flexibility

Eka Pada Sirshasana

Eka Pada Sirshasana
Eka Pada Sirshasana

Step-by-step
Sit on the floor with legs stretched out.
Bend the right leg and bring the right foot closer to the body by holding the right ankle.
Exhale and place the right foot behind the head gently without any jerk.
The right calf muscle should rest on the right shoulder and both the arms are brought in the front and joint together in a namaste position.
Straighten the back and look in the front with chin parallel to the floor.
The left leg is held straight with toes pointed up towards the sky.

Breath deeply for 10 breaths.

Hold the right foot again with both hands and take the foot off from behind your head and straighten the right leg.
Repeat on the left side.

Benefits  
Helps stretch the outer thigh to a very high degree.
Helps build strength in the back and spine area.

Parivrtta Parsvakonasana

Parivrtta Parsvakonasana
Parivrtta Parsvakonasanaa

This is also called as twisted angled posture because of the sharp look of the posture.

Step-by-step
Stand with your legs wide apart and outstretch your arms, the legs should be as wide as the distance between two wrists.
Look to your right and turn your right foot to the right side and bend your right knee so as to go into the Virabhadrasana.
Please see to it that your knee does not hyper-extend your toe and does not roll inward.
Twist your spine and lock your left elbow on the right side of the right knee.
Either join both the hands in Namaste position or extend the left arm from under the right thigh and hold the right hand from behind the back.
Look up at the ceiling.

Hold this posture for 10 breaths.

Twist back, raise the torso, straighten the right leg and turn the right foot in.
Repeat the same way on the left side in this position for 30 seconds to 1 minute. To release, bend your knees and return to the starting position/all fours.

Benefits
This is a great posture to work on the suppleness of the spine.
It gently massages the internal organs of the Gastro intestinal Tract and aids in digestion.
Builds strength in the thighs.
Develops the ability to concentrate.

Gomukhasana

Gomukhasana
Gomukhasana

In Sanskrit, “Go” means Cow and “Mukha” means Face, so the posture is called a “Cow Face” posture because of the resemblance with the face of a cow. This is one of the postures mentioned in the sacred scriptures of Hatha Yoga.

Step-by-step
Sit on the hip
Bend your left leg in such a way that your left foot is placed on right side of the right hip
Bend your right leg in such a way that your right knee is on top of the left knee and the right foot is on the left side of the left hip
Keep your spine straight, neck relaxed and breath deeply
Take 10-15 deep breaths
Switch the side and repeat

Benefits
This is one of the best postures to stretch the tight muscles of the hip.
It increases the blood supply to the legs and makes them more flexible.
Helps in posture correction.

Baddhakonasana

Baddhakonasana
Baddhakonasana

Baddha means “bound” and kona means “angle”. In this way, the posture means a bound angle. It is also known as a “butterfly” posture. This is how the cobblers in India sit and work.

Step-by-step
Sit on the floor on your hips with your legs stretched in the front.
Bend the knees and bring the feet closer to the perimium area.
Bring the soles of the feet together, and open the knees till they are close to the floor.
Hold the feet firmly and gently press the knees down towards the floor.
Keep your back straight and breath deeply.

Benefits
This is a good posture to work on the stiff inner thigh and lower back area.
Helps posture correction.
Allows for smooth labour during pregnancy
Helps in reduction of pre-menstrual cramps in women.
Helps in digestive disorders and concentration.

Adho Mukha Svanasana

Adho Mukha Svanasana

Adho Mukha Svanasana
In Sanskrit adho means downward, mukha means face, and svana means dog. Adho Mukha Svanasana is one of the poses in the traditional Sun Salutation sequence.

Step-by-step
Come onto the floor on all fours. From the table position, curl your toes under. Spread your fingers wide apart. Keep your hands as wide as your shoulders and feet as wide as your hip. Exhaling lift your knees away from the floor. At first keep the knees slightly bent and the heels lifted away from the floor. Lengthen your tailbone away from the back of your pelvis and press your tailbone upward and feel your spine elongating. Against this resistance, lift the sitting bones upward.

Now exhaling, push your top thighs back and stretch your heels down toward the floor. Straighten your knees with out locking them. Expand your chest by pressing out through your chest points. Press the crown of your head away from your shoulders. Bring the chin closer to the chest to relax the back of the neck.

Retain this position for 30 sec. to 1 minute. To release, bend your knees and return to the starting position/all fours.

Benefits
This Asana has a lot of corrective and curative effects.
The shoulders, hamstrings, calves, arches, and hands are stretched, energizing whole body.
It calms the brain, relieve stress, mild depression, headache, insomnia, back pain, and fatigue.
It is good for high blood pressure, asthma, flat feet, sciatica, sinusitis.
It also helps to relieve the symptoms of menopause and menstrual discomfort when done with the head supported.
With its proper practice osteoporosis is also prevented.

Bhujangasana

Bhujangasana
Bhujangasana

Bhujanga Asana is also known as the Cobra Posture.

Step-by-step
Lie down on your belly, keeping the palms on the floor below the shoulder and the elbows pointing up. Raise the chin off the floor.
Inhale and raise the head and chest, till the naval area, upwards. Tighten the legs allover from the waist down to the toes, join the feet.
Hold the posture and breath deeply and easily for about 10 seconds.
Exhale and simultaneously lower the head towards the floor. Relax your body and rest with your right or left cheek on the floor for about 10 seconds. This is one round.

Restrictions
Start with three rounds on the first day and increase to a maximum of five rounds. Take rest for sometime between each round. As you practice, you can increase the retention period of the position gradually from 10 seconds to 1 minute. Do not practice this asana while pregnant.

Benefits
Increases flexibility, rejuvenates spinal nerves and increases blood supply to the spinal region.
Activates and energizes the upper areas of the body like the chest, shoulders, neck, face and head.
Corrects various abnormal troubles like constipation, indigestion and increases appetite.