'Asanas' in Sanskrit means yoga posture or yoga pose. There are around 84 yoga poses or postures - each one has a special name, special form and a distinct way of performing.Yoga positions are designed to promote, a state of mental and physical well-being or good health. This may be defined as the condition that is experienced when all the organs function effectively under the intelligent control of the mind. Yoga poses have an extraordinary capacity to overhaul, rejuvenate and bring the entire system into a state of balance.
LIST OF YOGA POSES
Surya Namaskar ( Sun Salutation )
Surya Namaskar means greeting or bowing the sun. Usually all sessions of Yoga asanas begin with the 'Surya Namaskar' or sun salutation. It nourishes and energizes the upper part of the body.
Utthan Pada Asana (Leg Lifting Posture)
'Utthan' means to raise up and 'Pada' means legs. In this posture the legs are lifted upwards. It strengthens the spinal code and removes disorders of the back.
Paschimothan Asana (The Forward Bend)
Paschimothan Asana also known as touching toes posture, means stretching the back. It brings flexibility and corrects disorders of the spine.
Bhujanga Asana (The Cobra)
'Bhujanga' means serpent or snake. This asana is named after the king of the snakes, Cobra. It provides a youthful appearance and for women, makes child birth easy.
Salabha Asana (The Locust)
'Salabha' or locust is a type of grass hopper. It is a reverse of cobra posture. It is strenuous and can be practiced in parts at the initial stage. It favourably activates all the organs of the lower part of the body.
Sarvanga Asana (The shoulder Stand)
'Sarva' means all and 'Anga' means body, so Sarvanga is the posture of the whole body. As the whole body weight in this posture rests on the shoulders, it is also called 'Shoulder Stand Posture'. It is a purifying, nourishing and energizing asana beneficial to the whole body.
Matsya Asana (The Fish Posture)
Matsya Asana is so called because in its perfect posture, one is supposed to float like a fish in water. It is beneficial to perform this asana after Sarvanga Asana. It has corrective effects for the neck and shoulder troubles.
Dhanur Asana (The Bow Posture)
The body form in this asana resembles a bow or 'dhanur'. It is one of the best asana for activating and strengthening the joints of the body. It has some special benefits for women.
Hala Asana (Plough Posture)
The plow or Hala Asana is an extreme forward bending exercise. It has some excellent benefits and occupies a very prominent place in asanas. It is a unique asana for gaining sexual powers.
Shava Asana (Relaxation Posture)
'Shava Asana' means posture of a dead body. Also known as 'Yoga Nidra' which means yogic method of sleep. It is an asana which claims to provide a satisfactory relaxation of both the body and the mind.
While doing any yoga pose, it is very important to be alert and be conscious of what we are doing. Concentration and relaxation play a vital role in the practice of yoga. Padmasana is also called kamalasana, which means lotus. The form of the legs while performing this posture gives the appearance of a lotus. It is the best asana for contemplation.
As we start the asana, one must become conscious of the body. We must try to visualize the posture one is going to practice. This is actually a form of mental tuning. So we have to visualize before doing the asana. As one takes the right posture, one must close the eyes and be aware of the body. The Muscles must be relaxed. One should feel the touch of the legs on the floor. The focus should then be shifted to the breath. A feeling of peace touches the mind. Sit in this posture for a few Minutes before proceeding to the next asana.
Steps to follow (Padmasana) :
1. Sit on the ground by spreading the legs forward.
2. Place the right foot on the left thigh and the left foot on the right thigh.
3. Place the hands on the knee joints.
4. Keep the body, back and head erect.
5. Eyes should be closed.
6. One can do Pranayama in this asana.
# It helps in improving concentration.
# It helps to preserve vital fluids in the body.
# It prevents abdominal diseases and female disorders connected with the reproductive organs.
# It brings peace, solitude and longevity to the practitioner.
Mastery over this asana helps one to acquire many supernal powers. While doing this asana, One must not force the body. Be aware of the feelings that the posture develops in various parts of the body. Let the mind move with the body movements. Close your eyes and taste peace.
Steps to follow (Siddhasana) :
1. Place the left heel at the anus, the terminal opening of the alimentary canal or digestive tube.
2. Keep the right heel on the root of the generative organ.
3. It should be in a way, that the knees and the heels, both lie upon the other.
4. The hands must be placed on either sole of the feet. Keep the eyes half closed.
# Practice of this asana helps in concentration and clarity of mind.
# It improves memory, digestion and the faculty of the mind.
# It is beneficial to those suffering from wet dreams.
In this asana, the focal points of concentration are the feet. In this asana, be aware of your breathing and feel the belly moving in and out. A relaxed attitude is a must for this asana. While trying to touch the toes with your hands from the back, do not strain. Listen to the body movements. Do only as much as you can and relax.
Steps to follow (Baddhapadmasana) :
1. Sit the way as you do in Padmasana, by touching the abdomen with both the heels.
2. Place your hands behind your back and hold the toe of the right leg with the left hand and the left toe with the right hand.
3. Close your eyes and watch your breath calmly.
# This asana enhances intelligence and provides peace, purity and stability.
# It is good for the spine, chest and for general health.
Vajrasana makes the body exceptionally strong and healthy. Vajra means thunderbolt in Sanskrit. During this asana, feel the sensations in the body as you move them. Do the Movement slowly and in a relaxed manner. Inhale and exhale slowly. While drawing the Abdominal region inwards and expanding the chest, focus the attention on these body parts. The way the muscles move must be felt. Relax before, during and after the yoga posture.
Steps to follow (Vajrasana) :
1. With knees, ankles and big toes touching the ground, take a kneeling position.
2. One should sit on the heels and place palms on the knees.
3. The Spine should be erect and breath should be deep.
4. Draw the abdominal region inside and expand the chest.
1. Those suffering from blood pressure will benefit from this asana.
2. It gives longevity and strengthens the spine.
In yoga mudra, one has to sit as in the padmasana, sukhasana or vajrasana. Here again one must concentrate on the body movements and the breath flow. This asana involves stretching, too. In yoga postures one must concentrate first on the correctness of posture, then attention should be focused on breathing and relaxation. When you bend forward as far as it is comfortable, attention must also be paid to the hands. Breathe slowly and regularly. Know your flexibility and do not strain beyond a point. Relax into the posture.
Steps to follow (YOGMUDRA) :
1. Sit in a posture like padmasana.
2. The hands must be taken back and hold the palm of one hand with the other.
3. With the spine erect, exhale as you lower your head towards the ground as far as you can.
4. By holding the breath out, the arms must be raised upward as far as possible.
5. Remain in this position for 6 to 8 seconds and then inhale to come back to the starting position.
# It does away with the extra fat in the stomach.
# It makes the body strong and the will power is increased.
# It gives strength to the liver, bile and heart.
This asana is a simple one, which can be done easily. Stretching and lifting of arms and legs above the floor exerts a pull in the muscles. The movements should be slow, harmonious and controlled. One must avoid chatter, as it will not facilitate concentration. Achieving a perfect pose should not be the aim. One should have a non-striving attitude and perform the Yoga postures in a relaxed manner. Asanas should not be done mechanically. Attention should be on the sensations of the body and it’s movements.
Steps to follow (Naukasan) :
1. Lie on your abdomen.
2. Stretch both the arms forward, keep them on the floor with palms closed together. At the same time place the forehead on the floor.
3.Exhale and inhale, left the arms and head in the front and legs in the back upwards as much as possible without bending them.
4.Continue to breathe normally and maintain this postme till you feel a pull on the legs.
5.In this asana, both the arms should be raised keeping the palms joined together. Legs should be kept together head should be at the level of arms.
# It strengthens the spine and makes the lungs strong.
# It makes the spine flexible.
# It helps in the functioning of the liver, pancreas and intestines
Yoga Asanas for Vatta Pitta Kapha
There are different Yogic Postures for different body types. If you have not found your body type as yet then find your Body Type. (All postures should be performed while inhaling deeply)
Yoga Asanas for Vata
All postures should be performed while doing deep, quiet breathing.
* Asthma Backward Bend, Plough, Knee to Chest, Corpse
* Backache Knee to Chest, Plough, Half Wheel, Backward Bend
* Constipation Backward Bend, Yoga Mudra, Knee to Chest, Shoulder Stand, Corpse. Belly should be drawn in while doing these postures.
* Depression Yoga Mudra, Plough, Corpse, Palm Tree, Lotus
* Sciatica Knee to Chest, Backward Bend, Plough, Yoga Mudra, Half Wheel
* Sexual Debility Backward Bend, Plough, Shoulder Stand, Elevated Lotus
* Varicose Veins Head Stand, Backward Bend, Corpse
* Wrinkles Yoga Mudra, Backward, Bend, Head Stand, Plough
* Rheumatoid Arthritis Half Wheel, Bow, Plough, Head Stand, Backward Bend
* Headache Plough, Yoga Mudra, Head Stand
* Insomnia Corpse, Cobra, Backward Bend
* Menstrual Disorders Plough, Cobra, Half Wheel, Yoga Mudra
Yoga Asanas for Pitta
All postures should be performed while doing deep, quiet breathing
* Peptic Ulcer Hidden Lotus,Sheetali (inhale through coiled tongue through mouth)
* Hyperthyroidism Shoulder Stand, Ear Knee
* Malabsorption Knee to Chest, Fish, Locust
* Hypertension Shoulder Stand, Cobra, Half Bow, Quiet breathing
* Anger or Hate Half Bow, Shoulder Stand, Hidden Lotus, Corpse
* Migraine Headache Sheetali, Shoulder Stand, Fish
* Colitis Fish, Ear Knee, Boat, Bow
* Liver Disorder Fish, Shoulder Stand, Ear Knee, Hidden Lotus
* Hemorrhoids Fish, Shoulder Stand, Bow
* Stomatitis (Inflammation of the Tongue) - Sheetali
Yoga Asanas for Kapha
All postures should be performed while doing, deep, quiet breathing.
* Bronchitis Head Stand, Plough, Forward Bend, Backward Bend, Half Wheel, Fish
* Emphysema Half Wheel, Shoulder Stand
* Sinus Congestion Fish, Boat, Plough, Bow, Breath of Fire (Bhasrika)
* Sinus Headache Lion, Head Knee, Fish
* Diabetes Boat, Fish, Half Wheel, Backward Bend, Forward Bend
* Chronic Gastro Intestinal Disorders - Fish, Locust, Cobra
* Sore Throat Lion, Shoulder Stand, Locust, Fish
* Asthma Half Wheel, Bow, Boat, Shoulder Stand, Palm Tree, Fish, Cobra
So just steal away some days from your hectic schedule and devote those precious moments to your well being.