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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.  

Kati Naukasana (Rotated Boat)

How to do Kati Naukasana? Assume the final position of naukasana Twist your upper body so that the upper body is facing the left side. Turn lower body so that toes are facing the right. This is the final posture. Hold for as long as comfortable. Repeat on the opposite side. Benefits: This asana removes lethargy by toning all organs and stimulating the digestive, muscular, circulatory, nervous and hormonal systems.

Naukasana (Boat pose)

Asana Description: How to do Naukasana? Sit down on the floor with the knees bent and palms resting on the floor near the hips. Inhale and straighten your knees so that the feet are no more than 15cm above the floor, simultaneously lean back with the hands stretched out straight in front of you. Arms and feet are at the same level with the palms facing downwards. Balance only on the buttocks. Gaze at your toes. Benefits: This asana removes lethargy by toning all organs and stimulating the digestive, muscular, circulatory, nervous and hormonal systems.

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.

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

Parvatasana (mountain pose)

Parvatasana or mountain pose gets its name because the body takes the shape of a mountain peak. This beautiful asana, done here by Neetu Singh, can be held for a long time, allowing the body to open up as you breath. It is also a great asana to help track your progress throughout your yoga practice. It is one of the postures in surya namaskar which should be practiced everyday with rising sun. Take some time in parvatasana each morning and see how your body adjusts to the posture day by day. Are your heels coming close to or touching the floor? Are you lengthening the legs as much as possible? Are you relaxing your shoulders? Can you feel each vertebrae slowly stretching more and more each time you practice? Because you are so grounded in this asana the body is flooded with awareness. Even if you like moving swiftly through sun salutations, take time in the first two round to hang out in each posture, slow the breathing down and feel each part of the body coming to life. How to do Parvatasana Begin on hands and knees. Keeps the hands in the same place throughout the practice. Lift the knees and push the heels back toward the ground. The legs and the arms should be strait. Bring the head and shoulders in the direction of the knees. Keep the shoulders relaxed the whole time, allowing the body weight to be lifted from the hips. Push back with your legs beginning from the heels and moving up towards the hips, finally giving a stretch to the spine as the tail bone lengthens. Stay for as long as is comfortable. How it helps [...]