Asanas Directory allows you to learn how to do particular Asanas with the benefits listed as well!
Travelling from the sages to the urban yogi, Vrikshasana (Tree pose) represents the grace and serenity of a tree. In the famous Hindu mythology "Ramayan", Ravana performs severe penances standing in Vrikshasana to win favours from the Gods. He stood in the posture for months with absolute determination and concentration which eventually lead to, Ravana being blessed with a boon by the Gods. What makes Vrikshasana so special? Many of the meditative asanas are seated postures. Vrikshasana is a balancing posture which is used by many sages and yogis to meditate. This is a mobile posture, it can be done anytime, anywhere for any duration!! The asana's beauty lies in its' simplicity. :) Chakra-wise Vrikshasana balances the Mooladhara chakra ( root chakra). This chakra regulates the most basic need of all living beings, that is, security and survival. The asana stimulates the energy near the coccyx and pelvic floor. This enables us to feel more safe, secure and stable. Besides building strength in the lower body, on an energy level, we are rooted with the stability of the earth . This ensures that we are more self-aware, courageous, and fearless. Benefits of Vrikshasana Tool for de-stressing- Even just a few breaths in Tree Pose help ground you if you are having a whirlwind week. It creates peace in your mind and in your body, and is a wonderful way to slow down when life gets overwhelming. Curbing anxiety and stress is just one of the emotional responses this posture encourages, and it naturally cools you off and balances the fight or flight response. Strengthens the lower body - Standing on one leg enhances the strength in your ankles and feet — which is very important for runners. Moreover it strengthens [...]
Naukasana is one of the most challenging postures on day 1 or year 10 of your practice. Naukasana or the boat posture along with its variations has made it's way into Pilates and the Gym. Moreover, want to check your fitness level, hold the posture for 60 seconds and you'll know where you stand. :) What makes Naukasana so special? The boat posture utilizes all of your muscles in one stationary pose. This asana is an abdominal strengthener and also strengthens the deep hip flexors that attach the inner thigh bones to the front of the spine. Naukasana is lovingly nicknamed "The core killer". :) Chakra-wise The asana works on your core which activates the abdominal organs and activates the Manipura Chakra. On the physical level, the function of this Chakra is similar to that of a fireplace. When the energy of our food is not properly absorbed, utilised and distributed in the Manipura Chakra we feel tired, weak and ill, but with an active Manipura Chakra the body is provided with sufficient energy. Benefits of Naukasana Strengthens the abdomen, hip flexors and spine as we balance on our tail bone and push the core towards the spine. Since we engage our core, the abdominal organs are stimulated. It regulates and ensures better functioning of the kidneys, thyroid - prostate glands and intestines. The core killer helps in toning the fat around the stomach. Thereby, regular practice will keep your abdomen taut and toned. Helps to increases the circulation of blood in all the abdominal organs and maintain the sugar level. Therefore, it helps in improving digestion. While balancing in the posture, keep your legs and knees straight, thereby strengthening and toning the legs. Contra-indications Avoid in [...]
A classic Yoga Asana, which is camera friendly and multipurpose. In Sanskrit, Ardha means “half” and kapota means “pigeon”. Ardh kapotasana is named after a great master, Kapota. His yogic accomplishments are documented in scriptures such as the Mahabharata and the Kalika Purana. What makes Ardh Kapotasana so special? The posture is widely practiced by athletes, sports people, gymnasts and dancers. Yoga handles stiff hips in a variety of ways. But mostly through a family of poses, popularly called the “hip openers." Ardh kapotasana is a great backbend that strengthens the lower back. It’s fascinating to see the variations of this asana, which has been tailored for people with stiffness in different areas. Chakra-wise The posture stretches the abdominal-pelvic muscles and affects the Manipura chakra (Solar-plexus). As the seat of digestive fire, this Chakra regulates the function of the Pancreas and digestive organs. Therefore, an active Manipura Chakra supports good health and assists in overcoming many illnesses. Benefits of Ardh kapotasana As we balance in the centre and bend backwards, the abdominal area is engaged. It is a great posture to tone up the abdomen and the abdominal organs are stimulated. This pose is perfect for tight hips because it stretches the hip rotators (the buttocks area) and the hip flexors. This asana increases the lower body's flexibility. It is a great post-run stretch to relax the muscles around the thigh and groin area. This stance is useful for conditioning your thighs. It strengthens the back, while being a great stretch for the spine. It improves the posture thereby giving dancers a better stance. Prepares the body for seated postures such as Padmasana(Lotus Pose). Thereby ensuring more composure in meditative postures. Contradictions Avoid in case of knee [...]
Turning the whole world topsy-turvy, comes the asana that is called the 'King of Asanas' -Sirsasana, popularly called the “Headstand” is an inversion. It benefits every system of the body and is a morale booster, once you learn to stay up in the posture. What makes Sirsasana so special? In the words of Swami Sivananda, author of Yoga asanas, “In this asana alone, the brain can draw plenty of Prana and blood. It leads to natural Pranayam and Samadhi by itself. No other effort is necessary.” Practicing Sirsasana is a great way to lift your energy, relax your body and mind. Besides, it relaxes all the organs that are pulled by the gravity all day long. Chakra-wise As we balance on the cranium, the asana nourishes the head with oxygen and blood which balances the Sahasrara (Crown chakra). This leads to relaxing your mind and releases all the stress. An active Sahasrara Chakra unifies the human mind with the higher self and takes us beyond the existence of space and time. This chakra is associated with wisdom, enlightenment and transcendence. Benefits of Sirsasana The most obvious benefit is the increase in blood flow. Extra oxygen and nutrient rich blood to the head means oxygen supply to the brain, more nutrient flow to the scalp and it balances the functioning of brain. The heart works against gravity; inverting your entire body lessens the strain on your heart, and allows a plentiful supply of oxygen-rich blood to reach your head and brain. When you flip onto your head you will be directly stimulating your lymphatic system and thereby helping to remove toxins from your body. Headstand is known as a cooling posture, meaning that it helps you to draw your attention [...]
DANCING NATRAJ asana is one of the most recognisable modern yoga postures. Although it finds no mention in the traditional Yogasana repertorire; Dancing Natrajasana has become ubiquitous in Yoga studios and Instagram posts of Yogis worldwide! What makes Dancing Natraj asana so special? Mythologically, we say that Yoga originated from Adiyogi, an aspect of Shiva. Shiva is also the celestial Dancer or Natraj - the Lord of Dance. It it said that Adiyogi spent all his time either Dancing ecstatically or sitting in deep Meditation - only these two states! Hence Dancing Natrajasana pays tribute to Adiyogi and reminds us of the value that Dancing brings in terms of Catharsis, for a Meditative practice to flourish in an Individual. Chakra-wise: Being a Balance pose, Dancing Natrajasana helps us train to become more grounded. This helps psychologically with feelings of Stability and Security, which are the key aspects of Mooladhar or the base Chakra. All balance poses helps us work on our Mooladhar chakra and sets the stage for an inward Journey through the various Chakras and corresponding levels of Awareness. Benefits of Dancing Natraj asana: Balance poses in Yoga train our Awareness of our bodies, so that we have a heightened sense of the simplest of activities like standing; on one leg of course. To maintain balance; both hemispheres of our Brain need to co-ordinate. Whilst we have both Logical (left-brain) and Artistic (right-brain) faculties, we often choose to live life in one extreme. Balance poses force us to co-ordinate better between both hemispheres - thereby bringing about a more balanced personality. This is also the reason why Women are better then Men at balance poses - the Corpus Callosum, connecting both hemispheres it thicker [...]
PADMASANA is a classic Yoga Asana and is immediately identified with images of the Buddha, Agiyogi and other legendary Yogis throughout history! It's also perhaps the first asana that comes to mind when one tries to imagine a Yogi. What makes Padmasana so special? Actually, more than the form of the pose; it is what Padmasana stands for that has defined it's iconic status - the complete mastery over Body & Mind which Yogis are renowned for, and a certain Composure that we all aspire to! There are thousands of other asanas that we see all over Instagram, but nothing comes to close to Padmasana if we were to attempt to encapsulate all of Yoga in a single posture. KNOW YOUR ASANA! Padmasana or Lotus pose is one of 4 classic meditation asanas. A Meditation pose needs to fulfil one main criterion - that your back should be kept straight! And Padmasana accomplishes this. Also, meditation poses (Siddhasana, Vajrasana & Sukhasana being the other classic poses) generally lock the legs so that there is less loss of Energy (Prana) through your feet, whilst your hands are held in a Mudra to conserve Prana inside the body for the purpose of Meditation. Significance of the Lotus in Eastern Philosophy The 'Lotus' symbolises Transcendence, growing deep from the dirt and mud, yet rising out of it to full bloom and beauty beyond the water. It is symbolic of our Seeking to transcend our basal nature in our Journey of Life. Hence the Lotus finds repeated allegorical reference in ancient Indian and far Eastern philosophical writings. Benefits of Padmasana: Pranayam: Padmasana is the best posture for practising Pranayam. Also, it the the right pose for Om chanting. Chakras: In terms of form, Padmasana is special because it aligns all the [...]