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Sitting

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Parivrtta Janusirasana (revolved knee-to-head pose)

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Asana description Parivrtta Janu Sirasana (Revolved head to knee pose) gives a lateral stretch to the body and also stretches the hamstrings and behind the shoulders. It gives a beneficial compression of the abdominal muscles and organs on one side of the body and simultaneously stretches them on the other side. It prepares the body for long hours of sitting in meditation. How to do Parivrtta Janusirasana? - Sit with legs about a meter apart. Bend the left knee and place the heel against perineum. - Bend forward, inclining the body to the right to hold the right foot with the right hand. - The fingers should be in contact with the arch of the foot and the thumb should be on top. - Place the elbow on the floor on the inside of the strait leg. - Bring the left arm over the head and grasp the right foot with the left hand. - Ease the head under the left arm, relax the back and twist the trunk as much as possible so that the chest is open and facing forward. - Hold for as long as is comfortable. Release the hands and slowly return to the starting position. Contraindications Pregnant women and people with back complaints should not perform this asana. It is a rather advanced practice, so be sure you are comfortable with janu sirasana before you attempt the revolved variation. - Catherine Juliano

Gomukhasana (face of a cow pose)

Sit down with legs stretched out. Cross your legs with the right knee directly above the left knee. Bring the left arm up towards the ceiling, Bend the left elbow, bringing the left hand down the center of the back. Bring the right arm out to the right side, bend the elbow and bring the right arm up the center of the back. Hold hands behind the back. Draw the pinky finger toward the center of the spine. Hold this posture for 30 seconds. Relax the arms. Repeat on the other side. How it helps: Relieves backache, sciatica, rheumatism and general stiffness in the shoulders and neck. It is great for improving posture by increasing energy, awareness and generally opening the chest area. A great stretch for surfers, climbers, kayakers or tennis players. - By Manish Pole and Catherine Juliano  

Baddha Padmasana (bound lotus pose)

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Assume Padmasana by placing the left foot on the right thigh and right foot on the left thigh. Place the right hand around the back so you can grab the left toe. Bring the left hand around the back to grab the right toe. Keep a strait spine and hold for as long as is comfortable then change the legs. Badda padmasana should not be performed until you are comfortable with padmasana. How it helps: In baddha Padmasana you have all the benefits of Padmasana (maximum stretch of your leg muscles, hips, toes, ankles and knees) and additionally the great stretch of your shoulders, arms and wrists. It increase your flexibility and can prevent arthritis by keeping your joints flexible. The chest and ribcage expand, allowing you to breathe more deeply. It is wonderful to practice just before meditation, stretching the spine and encouraging good posture of the back and shoulders.  

Simhagarjanasana (Roaring Lion Pose)

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Start in Vajrasana and separate the knees wide. Tuck the hands underneath the shins and arch the back, lifting the chin to its highest. Try to focus on the eyebrow centre. Take a deep inhalation through the nose. Open your mouth wide and stretch your tongue out, curling its tip down toward the chin, and exhale the breath slowly out through your mouth with a distinct “ha” sound. How it helps: Simhagarjansana is an extreme stress reliever and can help one rediscover their voice. The stretching of the tongue has been claimed to help with voice-related difficulties like stammering and throat-related problems such as hoarseness and tonsillitis. It helps to stretch and strengthen all the muscles in the face as well as increasing blood flow in this area. Anyone can practice this asana and children are particularly fond of it!

Naukasana (Boat Pose)

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Naukasana is one asana that all of you worrying about tummy fat should try out.   How to do Naukasana? Breath in deeply, hold your breath and then raise the legs, arms, shoulders, head and trunk off the ground. The shoulders and feet should be no more than 15 cm off the floor. Balance the body on the buttocks, keeping the spine straight. Arms should be held at the same level and in the line with the toes. Hands should be open with the palms down. Benefits This asana stimulates the muscular, digestive, circulatory, nervous and hormonal systems, tones all the organs and removes lethargy. It is especially useful for eliminating nervous tension and bringing about deep relaxation. So, here is something, if practiced regularly, will help alleviate back aches and give you a toned abdomen! - By Lovely Singh & Manish Pole