Asanas

YOGA ASANA – PADMASANA

Padmasana (Lotus Pose)

Padma means a lotus. This is the lotus posture, one of the most important and useful asanas. It is the posture for meditation and the Buddha is often depicted in it.

This posture applies pressure to the lower spine, which has a relaxing effect on the nervous system. The breath becomes slow, muscular tension is decreased and blood pressure is reduced.

This is one of the basic postures and is often used in the variations of Sirsasana and Sarvangasana.

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YOGA ASANA – GARBHA PINDASANA

Garbha Pindasana (Womb Embryo Pose)

Garbha Pinda means an embryo in the womb (garbha = womb; pinda = embryo).

The name of the posture indicates that the ancient sages knew about the growth of the human foetus in the mother’s womb though the medical instruments at their disposal were limited.

In this posture the abdominal organs are contracted completely and the blood is made to circulate well round the organs. This keeps them in trim.

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YOGA ASANA – ADHO MUKHA SVANASANA

Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward Facing Dog)

The practice of this asana helps to eradicate stiffness in the region of the shoulder-blades, and arthritis of the shoulder joints is relieved. The abdominal muscles are drawn towards the spine and strengthened. As the diaphragm is lifted to the chest cavity the rate of the heart beat is slowed down. This is an exhilarating pose.

Persons suffering from high blood pressure can do this pose.

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YOGA ASANA – EKA PADASANA

Eka Padasana (One Foot Pose)

Physical-on maintaining the alignment of limbs and spine, and on maintaining balance.

Spiritual-on swadhisthana or manipura chakra.

Eka padasana should be preceded or followed by a backward bending asana such as makarasana. This asana may be used as a preliminary practice to bakasana.

This asana strengthens the arms, wrist, back, hips, and leg muscles. It helps to develop muscular coordination, nervous balance and concentration.

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YOGA ASANA – BAKASANA

Baka Dhyanasana (Patient Crane Pose)

This asana requires more coordination than muscular strength. Baka asana balance the nervous system. It strengthens the arms and wrists and develops the sense of physical balance.

People with high blood pressure, heart disease or cerebral thrombosis should not attempt this practice.

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YOGA ASANA – KUKKUTASANA

This posture strengthens the arm and shoulder muscles, and stretches the chest. It develops a sense of balance and stability. It is used in the process of kundalini awakening due to the stimulation of mooladhara chakra.

In this asana the arms and wrists must be strong enough to support the body. People with a lot of hair on their legs may find it difficult and painful to insert the arms between the thighs and calves. Applying oil to the legs will ease the problem.

Take a deep breath in and raise the body. Breathe normally in the final position. Exhale while lowering.

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YOGA ASANA – VRIKSHASANA

Vrikshasana (Tree Pose)

Physical-on a fixed point at eye level.
Spiritual-on ajna or anahata chakra.
Tree pose develops nervous balance. It also streng thens the leg, ankle and foot muscles.

Assume the final position of Vrikshasana. Keeping the arms above the head, palms together. Hold the position with the breath inside and, on exhalation, lower the hands back in front of the chest.

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YOGA ASANA – CHAKRASANA

Chakrasana (Wheel Pose)

Chakrasana should preferably be practiced on a soft carpet, which will protect the head. It should not be practiced on a blanket, which may slip. This is an inverted asana in which the whole body and nervous system are being placed in an abnormal position. It may be difficult to raise the body because the nervous system is not ready. Do not strain. Practice easier postures as preparation, such as setu asana. If the sense of position is space, or proprioception, is lost, strength is also lost. Chakrasana develops this sense of position in space.

Chakrasana strengthens the legs. It is beneficial to the nervous, digestive, respiratory, cardiovascular and glandular system. It influences all the harmonal secretions and helps relive various gynaecological disorders.

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YOGA ASANA – YOGA MUDRA

Yoga Mudra (Attitude Of Psychic Union)

This Mudra practice massages the abdominal organs and stretches the back, contributing to good general health. In addition, it is an excellent preparatory practice for meditation, engendering a sense of relaxation. It relieves anger and tension, inducing tranquillity. It develops awareness and control of psychic energy and is used to awaken manipura chakra. The respiration should be as slow as possible without the slightest strain.

Yoga mudra is so called because it unites the individual consciousness with the supreme consciousness, or the outer nature with the inner nature.

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YOGA ASANA – GAUMUKHASANA

Gaumukhasana (Cow Facing Pose) Variation

Gaumukhasana is most conducive to establish harmony and rhythm and is most suited for concentration. It helps to relieve stiff shoulders and reduce backache. It stretches your spine, ankles, chest, shoulder, arms. Gaumukhasana balances the two sides of the body as generally we prefer either the left or the right side.

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