How to do Ardha Kapotasana? Assume posture no. 3 of surya namaskar, Ashvasanchalan, with the left leg in the front. Drop the right knee on the floor and flatten the foot bringing the hip closer to the ground. Drop the left knee to the floor such that the left foot comes close to the hip on the right side. Place your left hand on the left knee and the right hand on the left foot. Stretch your elbows and hold the posture letting your hip settle. Once comfortable here raise both your hands over the head with the palms together. Repeat the same on the other side. Benefits: This asana provides a great stretch for the hip, knee and also the lower back. Contra-indication : In case of knee injuries practice under supervision.
Assume posture no. 3 of surya namaskar, ashwasanchalan. With the left leg in the front. Allow the back knee to rest on the floor. Take your right arm over the left knee so that the armpit is resting over the knee. This will allow you to turn your upper body to face the left side. Join your hands to make a Namaste at the centre of your chest. Gaze at your left elbow. This is the final posture. Hold for as long as comfortable. Repeat on the other side.
Natraja is one of the names given to lord Shiva, when he appears as a cosmic dancer. Nata meaning "dancer", Raja meaning "king”. How to do Natrajasana? Stand erect with the feet together. Transfer weight to the left leg and bend the right leg to hold the big toe with right hand. As you bend the right knee swivel your shoulder to bring the elbow to face the ceiling, allowing the foot to come near the head. The other hand is stretched out forward, with fingers in jnana mudra. Gaze at the outstretched hand. Stay in this posture as long as comfortable. Come back to stand. Relax. Repeat on the other side. Benefits: This asana is great for strengthening back, shoulders, arms, hips and legs. And for developing a sense of balance, concentration and grace.
How to do Padma Mauryasana? Sit in padmasana. Come up to stand on the knees, place palms flat on the ground in front of you with fingers facing backwards towards knees. Bend the elbows and bring them closer together. Lean forward and place each elbow on the either sides of the abdomen. Lean forward further and slowly rest your chest on the upper arms and transfer the body weight on to the arms. Once comfortable lean further and lift the folded legs off the floor. Balance in this position for as long as comfortable. Practice note : Padma mayurasana is easier to practice than mayurasana especially for women.
Before attempting this pose you should be comfortable with both padmasana and merudandasana. How to do ardha padma merudandasana: - Sit with legs strait in front of the body. - Slowly bend the right leg and grasp the top of the foot, placing it on top of the left thigh. The sole should face upward and the heel should be close to the pubic bone. - Bend the left leg and place the sole of the foot on the floor. - Interlock all ten finger and place the hands just below the ball of the left foot. - Straiten the spine and tighten the core to help you balance. - Lean slightly back onto the coccyx and, once the body is balanced, begin to straiten the left leg. Push the heel forward and pull the toes in toward the face. - Slowly return to the starting position and perform on the other side. How it helps: Ardha padma merudandasana is great for digestion. The heel of the right foot massages the internal abdominal organs. It helps to stimulate peristalsis, alleviating constipation. It strengthens the muscles of the back and helps to realign the spine.
How to do Merudandasana: -Sit with the legs outstretched - Bend the knees and place the feet flat on the floor in front of the buttocks about half a meter apart. Holding the big toes slowly lean back, balancing on the coccyx. - Straiten the legs and arms, raising them upward. -Steady the body, keeping the spine strait, then separate the legs as wide as possible, do not strain. - Hold the final position, keeping the gaze focused on a fixed point. - Bring the knees together at the center, bend the knees and lower the feet to the floor. How it helps: Merudandasana tones the abdominal organs, especially the liver, and strengthens the abdominal muscles. It helps to stimulate intestinal peristalsis, alleviating constipation. It tones the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems, strengthens the muscles of the back and helps to realign the spine. It helps to remove tiredness from the legs, giving a feeling of lightness and balance.
Ardha Chandrasana can be performed on its own or as part of chandra namaskar, also known as salutations to the moon. The twelve positions of surya namaskar relate to the twelve solar phases of the year, the fourteen positions of chandra namaskar relate to the fourteen lunar phases, ardha chandrasana being the additional pose in the sequence. The mantra for ardha chandrasana is Om Vahnivasinyai Namaha, salutations to the one who resides in fire. How to do Ardha Chandrasana: - Begin in a lunge position, making sure that the knee is directly over the ankle and finger tips and toes are in one line. - Tuck the back toes so the weight is on the ball of the foot. - Maintain balance here and raise the hands, stretching both arms over head. - Arch the back and look up, raising the chin. - There should be a gentle curve from the tips of the fingers to the tips of the toes, resembling a crescent moon. - Hold the pose and breathe deeply. Lower the arms and place the hands on either side of the foot, change the legs and repeat on the other side. How it helps: Ardha chandrasana is great for opening up the shoulders and the hips. Its gives a stretch to the quadriceps and hip flexer as well as manipura chakra, stimulating digestive fire.
Mayurasana (peacock pose) This asana has a great deal of benefits, especially when it comes to detoxification. It should be performed at the end of each asana session. It speeds up the circulation quite vigorously and tends to increase the amount of toxins in the blood as part of the process of purification. Therefore, it should never be practiced before any inverted posture as it may direct excess toxins to the brain. How to do mayurasana? – Kneel on the floor. – Place the feet together and separate the knees. – Lean forward and place both the palms between the knees on the floor with fingers pointing towards the feet. The hands position will have to be adjusted according to comfort and flexibility. […]
Baka Dhyanasana (Patient crane pose) I really enjoy this asana because you can track your progress very easily. At first it feels like you are going to face plant into the floor and end up with a black eye! If you are not comfortable lifting both feet right away, start with one and then the other. Eventually you will get to know how to shift your weight in order to find complete balance in this asana. How to do Baka Dhyanasana? – Squat on the floor with feet apart. – Balance on the toes and place the hands flat on the floor directly in front of the feet with the fingers pointing forward. The elbows should be slightly bent. – Lean forward and adjust the knees so that the inside of the knees touch the outside of the upper arms as near as possible to the armpits. […]
Vrischikasana (Scorpion pose) Vrischika means scorpion in sanskrit. In order to sting its victim, the scorpion arches its tail above it back and then strikes beyonds its head. This asana resembles a striking scorpion. In the full expression of the posture the back will assume a deeper arch and the feet will come close to the head. It is good to begin with a simple forearm stand so you can find your balance and then progress to a full back bend in the final posture . How to do Vrischikasana? - Assume the final position of sirshasana or headstand. - Relax the whole body, bend the knees and arch the back - Maintain balance and carefully move the forearms so they lie parallel to eachother on either side of the head. - Transfer the weight on the forearms and find balance. - Lower the feet as far as possible toward the head. - Slowly raise the head backward and upward. - Raise the upper arms so they are vertical. - Hold the final position for as long as is comfortable. Benefits: Vrischikasana reorganizes prana in the body, arresting the physical ageing process. It improves blood flow to the brain and pituitary gland, revitalizing all the body's systems. The arched position stretches and loosens the back, toning the nerves of the spine. It strengthens the arms and develops the sense of balance. Contraindications: This asana should not be practiced by people with high blood pressure, vertigo, cerebral thrombosis or heart disease. All cautions for strenuous, inverted postures apply.
Stand with feet shoulder width apart Raise the hands above the head and interlock fingers, pressing the palms toward the ceiling, elbows stretched completely. Begin to feel a lengthening of the spine. Lift and ribcage and raise the heels, coming onto the toes. Stay in this pose for up to one minute, or as long as is comfortable. How it helps: Tadasana can be incorporated into your daily routine. It improves the overall posture of the body as it lengthens the spine. Helps tone the muscles of the legs, specifically the calves. Creates space throughout the whole body, opening up the respiratory and digestive systems. Also helps to correct flat feet! Find the strength of a mountain in this simple posture. It invokes a sense of clarity, sturdiness and confidence in the body. “It is not a daily increase, but a daily decrease. Hack away at the inessentials.” -Bruce Lee By Manish Pole and Catherine Juliano
Begin in the standing position and fix your gaze at one point. This will help you to focus and stay balance throughout the asana practice. Bend the right leg and twist it around the left leg. The top of the right foot should rest on the calf muscle. Bend the elbows and bring them in front of the chest, wrapping the forearms around one another with the left elbow below (an anagram!) Place the palms together to resemble and eagles beak. Balance in this position for some time, Be sure to keep the knees bent and elbows lifted so they stay aligned with the shoulders. Release the arms and the legs and repeat on the other side. How it helps Garudasana is great for improving balance and focus. It helps to strengthen the legs and the ankles and loosens the joints of the shoulders and the muscles in the arms and the legs. It is a good stretch for the upper back. By Manish Pole and Catherine Juliano