Asanas

Yuva Yoga Basic 16

  • Variation:Tripod headstand Very good for beginners to develop confidence without the use of the wall.
  • Sit is vajrasana
  • Take your wrists in line with your knees with your palms spread wide
  • Bring your head to the mat so that your head, knees and wrists are making a triangle
  • Gently press your toes towards the mat and stretch your hips to the ceiling, straightening your knees
  • Bend both of your legs and bring your knees to your elbows one by one
  • Gently roll your hips to stretch your legs towards the ceiling
  • Head, neck, hips, heels should be in a straight line
  • Breathing is deep and smooth
  • Energetic focus is on the navel region
  • Weight shifting should be 40 percent on your elbows (20 on each forarm) and 60 percent on your head
  • Hold for 8 to 10 breaths
  • Benefits:
  • This is known as the king of all postures
  • In this posture blood rushes to the head which brings more oxygen to your brain, cerebelum, and cortex
  • Helps to bring a natural glow to the face because of the increased flow of blood to this region
  • Also improves the functioning of the sensory organs (eyes, nose, ears)
  • Prevents and cures sinusitis, headaches and partial deafness
  • Develops the taste receptor cells and salivary glands (improving functioning of taste buds)
  • This posture is the pathway towards moksha (emancipation/liberation) since all of the chakras and all of the glands are activated within the body
  • Name: Shirasa means head, and the head is the most important organ for the body and this pose is done by the head thereby receiving its name.
  • See Photos

    Shirshasana

  • Sit down in vajrasana
  • Interlock your hands and keep them in front of your knees by placing the crown of your head to the mat in between your palms
  • Gently press your toes towards the mat and stretch your hips to the ceiling, straightening your knees
  • Walk towards your head to stack your hips in line with your neck
  • Slowly breathe in to lift both of your legs off of the mat
  • Gently roll your hips to stretch your legs towards the ceiling
  • Head, neck, hips, heels should be in a straight line
  • Breathing is deep and smooth
  • Energetic focus is on the navel region
  • Weight shifting should be 40 percent on your elbows (20 on each forarm) and 60 percent on your head
  • Hold for 8 to 10 breaths
  • See Photos

    Dhanurasana

  • Lie in a prone position
  • Bend both legs and try to catch ankles with hands
  • Extend your legs so that you pull your chest, shoulders and cervical muscles away from the mat
  • Let your breathing be deep and smooth
  • Try to maintain a 90 degree angle in the knees, creating a deep arch in the lower back
  • Variation: Ardha Dhanurasana
  • Lie in a prone position
  • Bend your right leg and take hold of your ankle with both hands
  • Press your chest towards the mat and gently pull your ankle towards your head
  • Keep the other leg straight and fully grounded
  • Hold for 8 to 10 breaths.
  • Repeat on other side.
  • Benefits:
  • Helps to reduce excess fat from abdomen, hips, thighs
  • Prevents and cures constipation
  • Activates your kidneys, liver and spleen
  • Strengthens the uterus
  • Stretches the solar plexus where the 12 major nerves interconnect
  • Increases vitality and life force
  • Stretches your spine completely
  • Helps to cure and prevent cervical spondylosis, frozen shoulder, or any spinal deformity
  • Helps to open lungs enabling deeper inhales (more oxygen)
  • Foundation posture for backbends
  • Name: Dhanur means bow; this posture resembles a bow, ardha means half; ardha dhanurasana resembles a half bow
  • The action of the body is to create a bow in order to reach an arrow towards enlightenment
  • See Photos

    Sarvangasana

  • Lie down in a supine position
  • Bend your knees and roll your hips up towards the ceiling
  • Place your palms on your lower back placing elbows on mat
  • Gently stretch your legs in line with your shoulders
  • Your shoulders, hips, knees and ankles should be in a straight line
  • Chest is touching your chin to create jalandara bhanda (chin lock)
  • Breathing is deep and smooth
  • Hold for 8 to 10 breaths
  • Variation: Halasana--Bring your legs to the mat behind your head keeping them straight and extend your arms along the mat, interlocking your hands. Hold for 8 to 10 breaths.
  • Benefits:
  • This posture is known as the queen of all postures
  • This posture cures and prevents leprosy (proven in 1942 in Rishikesh, Sivananda ashram) since it activates the thyroid and parathyroid glands regulating growth hormones
  • This posture activates all the glands in the body
  • Helps to cure and prevent bone marrow loss
  • Purifies your blood
  • Strengthens the immune and the endocrine systems
  • Helps to cure and prevent stress and emotional imbalances
  • Stagnant blood from the lower body is drained back to the heart thereby improving the supply of fresh blood to these parts and the entire circulatory system.
  • Lung capacity is increased since the diaphragm must work against gravity in this posture thereby improving abdominal respiration and aiding in the treatment of asthma. Toxins are flushed from the respiratory system further improving the overall functioning of this system.
  • Preventative and curative for varicose veins.
  • Releases gravitational pressure on anus muscles which in turns helps hemorrhoids.
  • Regulates pranic flow thus increasing energy and positively affecting all of the bodily systems.
  • See Photos

    Navasana

  • Lie down in a supine posture
  • Bend your elbows to raise your upper body
  • Raise torso 30 degrees away from mat
  • Gently raise your lies such that your big toes are level with your eyes
  • Head is relaxed and eyes gaze at big toes
  • Stretch your hands towards your feet in line with your shoulders (works rectus)
  • Let your breathing be deep and smooth
  • Hold for 8 to 10 breaths
  • Variations: raise your body 60 degrees by pushing your palms back into the mat (works obliques)
  • Benefits:
  • Strengthens and develops your core muscles (obliques, rectus and lower abdomen)
  • Reduces fat around hips, waist and thigh regions
  • Activates your intestines and your kidneys
  • Increases vitality by strengthening the force of the breath
  • Cures and prevents constipation
  • Name: Nava means boat--boats save people’s lives in the sea, so regular practice lengthens your lifespan by preventing diseases and strengthening the entire system
  • See Photos

    Vajrasana

  • Sit in a kneeling posture
  • Reach your buttocks to the ground keeping your knees together and bringing your toes outside your hip line
  • Gently bend your elbows to reach your upper body to the mat
  • Once you are getting comfortable, reach fully down placing your left palm to your right scapula and your right palm to your left scapula
  • Relax your head and rest it on your forarms
  • Breathing is deep and smooth
  • Keep your buttocks and knees grounded
  • Hold for 8 to 10 breaths
  • Benefits:
  • This is the only posture which can be done anytime of the day especially after mealtime
  • Speeds up the digestive process by activating the digestive enzymes
  • Improves blood circulation to the knees, ankles, buttocks and hips
  • Improves and cures flat feet since it develops and strengthens the arches in the feet
  • Strengthens the Achilles tendon thereby reducing injuries
  • Stretches and strengthens the spine and shoulder region
  • Stretches your quadriceps completely which prevents deformities in the knees
  • Prevents and cures knee problems and pain
  • Name: Vajra means strong (also thunderbolt)
  • See Photos

    Padmasana

  • Sit in a comfortable posture with your legs stretched in front of you
  • Bend your right leg such that your right ankle is brought to your left hip crease
  • Gently bend your left leg, cross it over your right leg so that it reaches the right hip crease
  • Breathe out and lengthen your spine (stretch upper body) to keep your shoulders in line with your hips and both knees reaching the mat
  • Place your hands in chin mudra and extend your hands in front of your knees.
  • Gaze at the tip of your nose or close your eyes
  • Hold for 8 to 10 breaths.
  • Repeat on opposite side.
  • Benefits:
  • This is the optimal meditative posture rooting you to the earth since your full lower body is grounded
  • All the chakras are aligned in one vertical line allowing the free flow of energy within the nadis
  • This is the only posture that activates your body, heart and soul simultaneously
  • Cures and prevents all digestive disorders
  • Helps to reduce and burn fat around hips, thighs and waist
  • Helps to improve blood circulation to your lower abdomen, pelvic region, knees and ankles
  • Stretches the medial aspect of the knees which creates the flexibility for most advanced postures
  • Helps to improve the arches in your feet which improves plantar fasciitis
  • The lungs are opened fully which allows you to consume and process more oxygen
  • Name: Padma means lotus (this posture resembles a lotus)
  • See Photos

    Ardha Matsyendrasana

  • Sit in a comfortable posture by stretching both legs straight in front of you
  • Bend your right knee and cross it over your left leg
  • Gently bend your left leg such that the left heel reaches your right buttocks
  • Twist your whole body to your right
  • Lock your left armpit to your right thigh by stretching your right arm back such that both shoulders are in one line
  • Hold your left knee with your left hand by
  • Breathing out from your lower abdomen open your shoulders wider and turn your head back to gaze over your right shoulder
  • Hold for 8 to 10 breaths
  • Repeat on opposite side.
  • Benefits:
  • When you twist to your right, you activate your spleen
  • When you to your left the liver is activated
  • Activates the adrenal glands
  • Helps to burn excess fat from waist, hips and thighs
  • The crisscross stretch happening in the upper body helps to open the lungs (twisting to left, right lung opens, twisting to right, left lung opens)
  • By twisting the pancreas is activated which helps to cure and prevent diabetes, digestive disorders
  • This posture gives vigor and strength
  • It stretches your shoulders blades, scapula and rotator cuffs of shoulders
  • Cures shoulder disorders such as frozen shoulder, lower back pain, and stretches the spine (laterally?
  • Name: Ardha means half, Matchayandra is the name of a saint (half saint)
  • Poorna Matchayandrasana (alternate version of posture)--bottom leg in half lotus (most advanced position) poorna means full
  • Ardha (half) Matchya means fish (half fish)
  • See Photos

    Patchimottanasana/Bramacharyasanam

  • Sit straight with heels together.
  • Inhale and lift arms up to sky, exhale and fold forward
  • Relax the lower abdomen to extend your arms to your heels and bring your chest, chin and face closer to your legs
  • Variation: Try to catch your big toes and pull them towards you by reaching your elbow down and taking your head, chest, chin and face closer to your legs
  • Hold for 8 to 10 breaths
  • Benefits:
  • Doing this posture everyday extends your lifespan since you are pressing your abdominal organs and bringing your lungs as close as possible to the ground increasing blood flow to the upper body (nourishing cells, vital organs)
  • Helps to regulate the blood flow around your hip and your waist region.
  • Reduces excess of fat around your hips, abdomen and waist region.
  • Regulates and activates your digestive system.
  • Also known as Bramacharyasanam because the gonad glands are compressed which regulates your sexual desire
  • The heart and lungs are kept in a straight line so the upper body receives improved blood flow to nourish the vital organs
  • Name: Patchi means bird, motta means face--as posture resembles a bird’s face
  • See Photos

    Baddhokonasana/Kudhapadasana

  • Sit down in a comfortable posture
  • Bend your knees and bring the soles of your feet together
  • Try to hold your toes and slowly pull your heels as close as possible to your perineum
  • Use your elbows to press your thighs towards the mat
  • Broaden your chest and shoulders and stretch your cervical muscles by lengthening your spine to stay erect
  • Variation: Extend your lower back, breathe out from your abdomen and slowly fold forward to reach your forhead or chin to the mat
  • Breathing is deep and smooth
  • Hold for 8 to 10 breaths.
  • Benefits:
  • Very beneficial for pregnant women and helps to cure and prevent menstrual cramps
  • Also helps to reduce fat around hips, waist and thighs
  • Stretches your adductors, abductors, glutes, hip extensors and hip flexors
  • Base for hip opening postures and splits
  • Helps to cure and prevent digestive disorders by opening your hips and perineum improving excretion of waste material from system
  • By bending forward you stretch your lower back/erector spinae, gluteal muscles and piriformis
  • Name: Kudhapadasana--kudha means perineum/anus, pada means legs (bringing legs closer to the perineum/anus
  • Baddhakonasana--Baddha means bound, kona means angle (bound angle)
  • See Photos

    Dhandasana

  • Lie down on your lateral side
  • Bend your right knee and stretch your left leg laterally by placing your right hand on the mat below your shoulder, straightening the elbow
  • Once you are comfortable in this variation, stretch your right leg and your left hand towards the ceiling
  • Gently place your left leg on your right in line with your hips and shoulders
  • Your right ankle, knees, hips and shoulders should be in a straight line (diagonally up from floor)
  • Variation: Chaturanga: place both hands on mat shoulder-width apart and your feet hip width apart
  • Bend your elbows 90 degrees so that your whole body is parallel to the mat
  • Breathing is deep and smooth
  • Hold for 8 to 10 breaths on each side.
  • Benefits:
  • Strengthens the core, shoulders, and hip flexors
  • Creates a sense of balance and weight bearing on the hands
  • Basics for all hand balance postures
  • Name: Dhanda means stick--in this posture you are straight like a stick
  • See Photos

    Adho Mukaswanasana

  • Stand straight with heels together (make a “V” shape with feet)
  • Bend your knees and reach your palms to mat
  • From there, slowly stretch your knees, shoulders and elbows
  • Lift your hips towards the ceiling
  • Tuck your head in between your arms
  • Heels together, toes parted.
  • (ears in line or slightly in front of forearms).
  • Gaze towards your navel region
  • By pressing your heels down, push your palms and torso towards the mat to reach your head further down
  • Hold for 8 to 10 breaths.
  • Benefits:
  • Improves blood circulation in the lower abdomen and to the head regions which helps to cure and prevent gray hair due to increased blood flow to scalp
  • As head is below heart, blood flow is increased to your head and facial region which helps to give you a natural glow.
  • Prevents and cures heart diseases
  • Regulates your respiratory system since your head is below your heart (increased and inverted blood flow)
  • Creates a sense of weight bearing on the upper body which forms the foundation for handstands and inversions
  • Helps to lengthen the hamstrings, calves and specifically the tibialis and gastronomes
  • Helps to regulate the blood flow around your hip and your waist region.
  • Reduces excess of fat around your hips, abdomen and waist region.
  • Regulates and activates your digestive system.
  • Helps to prevent and cure sinusitis
  • Alleviates migraine headaches
  • Stretches shoulder extensors and shoulder rotator cuffs
  • Name: Adho means down, muka means face, swana means dog
  • See Photos

    Samakonasana

  • Stand with legs wide apart.
  • Distribute your weight equally to both feet
  • From your hips breathe out while raise hands up and fold forward
  • Try to reach your elbows to the mat and bring your elbows as close as possible towards your body so that you can reach your head to the mat.
  • Variation: Hold your big toes and bring your crown as close as possible to the ground.
  • Hold for 8 to 10 breaths.
  • Benefits:
  • Helps to stretch your lower body especially hamstrings, calves, glutes and adductors.
  • Creates a sense of balance and equal weight distribution between the legs.
  • Helps to regulate the blood flow around your hip and your waist region.
  • Reduces excess of fat around your hips, abdomen and waist region.
  • Regulates and activates your digestive system.
  • As head is below heart, blood flow is increased to your head and facial region which helps to give you a natural glow.
  • Helps to prevent and cure sinusitis
  • Alleviates migraine headaches
  • Regulates your respiratory system since your head is below your heart (increased and inverted blood flow)
  • Stretches shoulder extensors and shoulder rotator cuffs
  • Helps to increase quadricep strength and regulates blood flow to knees and ankles
  • Preparatory posture for headstand or scorpion
  • Name: Sama means equal (equal shifting of weight), Kona means angle (Samakona- equal angle)
  • See Photos

    Virasana/Virabhadhrasana

  • Stand with legs wide apart
  • Slowly bend your right knee such that you are creating a 90 degree angle in your knee and so that the inner thigh is parallel to the mat.
  • Press your left heel into the mat and create an external rotation in your hip flexors so that your hips, left knee, ankles and heels are in a line
  • Try to open your shoulders by stretching your arms laterally keeping your shoulders aligned with your hips and arms in the same plane and your knees.
  • Shift 60 percent of your weight to your left heel and 40 percent to your right.
  • Keep your hips wide open and sink hips towards mat for deep hip opening.
  • Gaze at a point for balance (basic practice for tratakam/dharanam--focusing on one point)
  • Hold for 8 to 10 breaths.
  • Repeat on opposite side.
  • Benefits:
  • Helps to reduce fat around thighs and lower abdomen
  • This posture is boon for the sportsman
  • Helps to regulate and activate your digestive system
  • Regulates menstruation and helps to alleviate menstrual cramps
  • Helps to increase male sperm count due to opening of hips and increasing blood flow to lower abdomen
  • Name: Vira means warrior and this pose harnesses the power of a warrior
  • Virabhadra means vira= warrior, bhadra= general appointed by lord Siva to fight the war on his behalf
  • See Photos

    Vrikshasana/Ekapadasa

  • Stand straight legs apart, bend your right leg and pull it as close as possible to your upper thighs and as close as possible to your perineum
  • Gently breathe out and take your palms together, close to your sternum with elbows wide open. Press palms together.
  • Adjust your raised leg by bringing it to your lateral side as much as possible.
  • Shoulders and hips are in line
  • Gaze at a point for balance (basic practice for tratakam/dharanam--focusing on one point)
  • Hold for 8 to 10 breaths.
  • Repeat on opposite side.
  • Benefits:
  • This posture helps to improve memory.
  • For “busy-bee” (find other word) practitioners this posture is very calming.
  • Working suri nadi and chandra nadi (right leg raised, left lungs will be worked greater, left leg raised, right lungs will be able to inflate larger)
  • This posture is the counter-posture for headstand (shirshasana)
  • This is also a meditative posture which helps you achieve your desired goals due to the inner strength harnessed.
  • (All balancing postures increase inner strength)
  • Name: Ekapadasana--Eka means one, Pada means leg (standing on one leg)
  • Vrikshasana--Vriksha means tree (in this posture you are standing strong like a tree)
  • See Photos

    Utkatasana

  • Stand with your legs shoulder width apart.
  • Stretch your hands in front to shoulder level
  • By exhaling, bend your knees and lower your hips until your thighs are parallel to the mat (90 degrees from buttocks through knees and down to ankles)
  • Shoulders should be in line with the hips
  • Maintain spine in alignment with hips as much as possible to get the full benefits from this posture
  • Gaze at a point for balance (basic practice for tratakam/dharanam--focusing on one point)
  • Hold for 8 to 10 breaths.
  • Benefits:
  • At the same time knees and hips are contracted which helps to activate the hip and the thigh region
  • Generate strength and vigor for your body especially the lower body
  • Helps to burn fat around waist and hip region
  • Helps to strengthen your ankles and knees
  • Gives a sense of steadiness to the upper body as well
  • Name explanation: Utkat means chair, and the way the body is positioned in this posture resembles a chair
  • When you are doing this posture regularly your heart will be elevated and lightened as though you are sitting on a throne
  • See Photos

    Tadasana/Talasana

  • Stand straight with heels together and toes apart making a “V”.
  • Slowly breathe in, raise hands above head and heels simultaneously.
  • Gaze at a point for balance (basic practice for tratakam/dharanam--focusing on one point)
  • Stay for 8-10 breaths.
  • Benefits:
  • 44 different types of nerves travel from the toes to the other parts of the body connecting your glands
  • Starting with this posture will help to activate your glands by the pressure which is created on your toes
  • The whole body weight is shifted to the toes which helps to stretch the joints in the body thereby curing stiffness or pain in the ankles, knees, lower back, and rotator cuffs of the shoulders.
  • Explanation for the name: tal means legs and this posture focuses on the legs
  • See Photos

    Hanumandasan

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    Sirishasan

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