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Balance

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Spinal Twist in Ashwasanchalanasana

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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.

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.

Padma Mayurasana

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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.

Ek Hath Santolanasana

Asana Description: How to do Ek Hath Satolanasana? Assume the final position of Santolanasana Slowly bring the right hand in the center and raise the left arm straight up so that both the arms are in a line and the chest faces forward. Outer side of the right foot is firmly on the ground and the left foot is placed on top of it. This is the final posture. Balance in this position keeping the body straight. Repeat on the left side. Benefits : Practice of this asana strengthens the thighs, spine, arms and shoulders.

Ardha Padma Merudandasana (Half lotus spinal column pose)

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.

Merudandasana (Spinal Column pose)

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 (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.

Mayurasana (Peacock pose)

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This pose strengthens the digestive system, stimulates metabolism, and purges your body of toxins by massaging the digestive organs, increasing the blood circulation, and strengthening the core. It is believed that peacocks can eat deadly snakes without being affected by their venom. Each snake the peacock destroys represents an earthly attachment. As you practice this pose, try to cultivate the true spirit of being liberated from poisonous things in your life. How to do Mayurasana: - Kneel on the floor and place the feet together. - Lean forward and place both palms between the knees on the floor with fingers pointing towards the feet. The hands with need to be readjusted according to comfort and flexibility. - Bring the elbows and forearms together. Lean further forward and rest the abdomen on the elbows and chest on the upper arms. - Stretch the legs backwards so they are strait and together. Tense the muscles of the body and slowly elevate the trunk and legs so that they are horizontal to the floor. Hold the head upward. - The whole body should now be balanced on the palms of the hands. In the final position, the weight of the body should be supported by the muscles of the abdomen, not the chest. In the beginning, this asana should only be held for a few seconds and can be attempted a second time when the breath returns to normal. Mayurasana should be performed at the end of a sequence. Mayurasana can speed 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 asana as it may [...]

Ashtavakrasana

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Mythical reference: In Indian mythology this asana is dedicated to Sage Ashtavakra, the spiritual precipitator of King Janaka of Mithila. He was born with eight deformities, hence the name Ashtavakra. In Sanskrti ashta means 'eight' and vakra 'deformities'. How to do Ashtavakrasana? 1.     Stand with your feet about a metre apart. 2.     Bend your knees, place the right hand between the feet and the left hand just in front of your left foot. 3.     Lift your right leg and place the thigh on your right upper arm just above the elbow. 4.     Place the left foot between your arms bringing it closer to the right foot. 5.     Lift both legs for the floor and interlock them by placing the left foot on the right ankle 6.     Stretch both your legs to the right side. 7.     Ensure that the right arm is between the legs and the right upper arm straight. 8.     Balance on the arms. 9.     Bend your elbows; lower the trunk and head, so that they are parallel to the floor. 10.  Stay in the final posture for as long as is comfortable. 11.  To release, slowly straighten the arms and raise the trunk. Unlock the legs and lower them to the floor. 12.  Return to the starting posture. 13.  Repeat on the opposite side. Counter-Indications: This posture must be attempted only once the shoulders and arms have become very strong. If you have high blood pressure, heart ailments, back or hip problems please do not attempt this asana.   - Komal Jyoti

Mayurasana (peacock pose)

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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)

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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)

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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.