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Legs

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Ek Pada Uttanasana

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How to do Ek pada uttanasana? Standing straight; raise your left leg upwards. Lean forward and grab hold of your leg, keeping your knee straight. Standing straight, hold your leg in front of you. Hold for 30sec- 1min. Then repeat on the other side.  

Ardha Kapotasana (Half pigeon pose)

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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.

Dancing Natrajasana

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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.

Paschimottanasana

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Asana Description: This forward bend asana rejuvenates the spine and tones the abdominal organs and gets rid of sluggishness. Paschima means west or back of the body and uttana intense stretch or extension and asana posture or pose. How to do Paschimottasana? Sit with the legs out stretched with the feet together. Place the hands on the knees. Relax your body in this posture. This is the starting posture. Slowly bend from your hip, slide your hands down your legs and grasp your big toes between your thumbs and fingers. If this is not possible you may hold your heels, ankles calves or knees. Hold this position and relax your back and legs allowing them to gently stretch. Without bending your knees gently pull your torso towards your legs. Pull using the arm muscles, do not strain the back. Try to touch your head to the knee. Be careful not to strain. This is the final posture. Hold in this posture for as long as comfortable. Counter-Indications: People suffering from back problems, slip-disc, sciatica, hernia should not practice paschimottanasana.

Utthita Parsvakonasana (extended side angle pose)

The pose teaches you how to stabilize your legs while you open and expand the sides of your rib cage, training the muscles that support good breathing. It also tones the muscles that run along the sides of your body, from the outer heel to the outer hip, along the torso, and up to the outer arm. Developing this strength gives you the structural support you need to lift and lengthen your spine. For this reason, Side Angle Pose is a fundamental pose to practice regularly. How to do Utthita Parsvakonasana: - Start with legs about one meter apart, toes facing the side of the mat. - Inhale and extend the arms out to the side. Turn the right toes to face the front of the mat, keeping the back foot parallel to the back of the mat. - Bend the right leg to a 90 degree angle, being sure to press the outer edge of the left foot into the mat, keeping the back leg firm. - Bring the right hand down to the outer edge of the right foot (to the mat or to a block, depending on flexibility) and extended the left hand toward the sky. - Begin to stretch the left hand over the head, so bicep is close to the ear. Turn the chest upward and use the core to lift the spine. - Stay here for up to 45 seconds and repeat on the other side. How it helps: Utthita Parsvakonasana strengthen and stretches the legs, knees and ankles. It stretches the groin, spine, waist, chest and lungs. Because the muscles of the legs are so large it consumes a lot of energy to strengthen them, therefore extended side [...]

Ardha Chandrasana (Half Moon Pose)

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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.

Padahastasana (hands-to-feet forward bend)

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Padahastasana is one of the most important Yoga forward bending asanas. It is repeated twice in each Surya Namaskaar round as well. How to do it? 1. Stand upright with a very slight gap in between your feet and inhale. 2. Exhale and Bend forward from the hips until your palms or fingers touch the floor on either side of the feet , without bending your knees. 3. Bring the forehead as close to knees as you can. 4. Hold this pose for 30sec to 1 min with steady and calm breathing. 5. Inhale and stand upright again. Contra-indications: People suffering from back conditions should not bend forward fully. they can bend from the hips keeping the back straight making a 90 degree angle with the legs.   - Ruchi Renavikar

Chakrasama (Wheel pose)

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Chakrasana (wheel pose)   How to do Chakrasana? -Lie on the back with knees bent and the heels touching the buttock. – Place the palms on the floor besides the head with the fingers pointing towards the shoulders. This is the starting position. […]

Vyaghrasna (Tiger pose)

>Start on hands and knees with shoulders stacked over the wrists and knees directly below the hips. >Raise the right legup and back, bending the right knee and arching the back.  >Try to bring the toes as close to the head as possible without twisting or turning the hips. >On the exhale bring the knee close to the nose, rounding the spine and using the core strength to keep the leg lifted. How it helps: This asana is beneficial to practice if you have any back pain or sciatica. It tones the abdomen and reduces excess fat on the hips and thighs. - by Lovely Singh