Tadasana (Palm Tree Postures)

Technique:

  • Stand with feet 2 inches apart. Interlock the fingers, and turn the wrist outwards. Now inhale, raise the arms up
  • Bring them in line with the shoulders.
  • Raise the heels off the floor and balance on the toes. Stay in this position for 10-15 seconds.
  • Exhale, bring the heels down.
  • Release the interlock of the fingers and bring the arms down parallel to the trunk, and come back to standing posture.

Pada-Hastasana (The Hands to Feet Postures)

Technique:

  • Stand straight with feet 2 inches apart.
  • Inhale slowly and raise the arms up.
  • Stretch up the body from the waist.
  • Exhale and bend forward until the trunk is parallel to the ground.
  • Exhale and bend forward until the entire palm rests on the ground.
  • Maintain this final posture for 10-30 seconds.
  • Those who are having stiff back should bend according to their capacity.
  • Now inhale, come up slowly to the vertical position and stretch the arms above the head.
  • Exhale and slowly return to the starting position in reverse order.
  • Relax in Tadasana.

Ardha Chakrasana (The Half Wheel Posture)

Technique:

  • Support the back at the waist with all the fingers together pointing forward or downward.
  • Drop the head backwards stretching the neck muscles.
  • As you inhale, bend backwards from the lumber region; exhale and relax.
  • Stay here for 10-30 seconds with normal breathing.
  • Inhale and slowly come up.

Paschimottanasana

Technique:

  • Sit erect with the legs stretched out straight in the front. Keep the hands beside the hips and palm resting on the floor. This is Dandasana.
  • Inhale, raise both the arms sideways at shoulder level parallel to the ground.
  • Turn the palms facing upwards.
  • Continue to inhale and raise the arms further up vertically biceps touching the ears and stretch the trunk. Now turn the palm forwards.
  • Exhale, bend the trunk forwards from the lower back. Stretch the arms, hands parallel to the ground.
  • Exhale completely, form hooks of index fingers and catch hold of the big toes. Bend the back further forward from the lumbar-sacral region so that the trunk is stretched along the thighs and the face rests on the knee. Bend the hands at the elbow and relax the abdomen muscles.
  • Maintain the position for about a minute with normal breathing.
  • Return to sthiti reversing the steps and relax.

Ustrasana (Camel Posture)

Technique:

  • Kneel down on the floor. Keep your thighs and feet together, toes pointing back and resting on the floor.
  • Bring the knees and the feet about one foot apart and stand on the knees.
  • While inhaling bend backward.
  • Be careful not to jerk the neck while bending backward.
  • With exhalation place the right palm on the right heel and left palm on the left heel.
  • In final position, thighs will be vertical to the floor and head tilted backwards.
  • Weight of the body should be evenly supported by the arms and legs.
  • This asana should be practiced after Sarvagasana as a counter pose to enhance the benefits of Sarvangasana.

Vakrasana (The Spinal Twist Posture)

Technique:

  • Bend the right leg, and place the right foot beside the left knee.
  • As you exhale, twist the body to the right.
  • Bring the left arm around the right knee and clasp the right big toe or place the palm beside right foot.
  • Take the right arm back and keep the palm on the ground with the back straight.
  • Remain in the posture for 10-30 seconds with normal breathing and relax.
  • Take out your hands with exhalation and relax.
  • Repeat the same on the other side.

Bhujangasana (The Cobra Posture)

Technique:

  • Lie down on your stomach, rest your head on your hands and relax the body.
  • Now join your legs and stretch your arms.
  • Keep the forehead on the ground.
  • Now place your hands just beside the body; keep palms and elbows on the ground.
  • As you inhale slowly, lift the chin and chest and come up to the navel region.
  • Stay there comfortably.
  • This is called Sarala Bhujangasana.
  • Now come back and place your forehead on the ground.
  • Keep your palms besides the chest and raise your elbows where they are.
  • Inhale; slowly lift the chin and chest up to navel region.

Shalabhasana (The Locust Posture)

Technique:

  • Lie down on your stomach in Makarasana.
  • Rest the chin on the floor; keep both the hands beside the body; palms facing upwards.
  • Inhale; raise the legs off the floor as much as you can without bending the knees.
  • Extend the arms and legs well to ease lifting the body off the floor.
  • Stay in this position for 10-20 seconds breathing normally.
  • Exhale; bring the legs down towards the floor.
  • Rest for a few seconds in Makarasana.

Pavanamuktasana (The Wind releasing Posture)

Technique:

  • Lie down flat on the back.
  • Bend both the knees and bring the thighs to the chest.
  • Interlock the fingers and clasp the shin below knees.
  • Exhale; raise the head till your chin touches the knees and relax.
  • This is called Pavanamuktasana.
  • Bring the head back to the ground.
  • While exhaling, lower the legs to the floor.
  • Rest in Savasana.

Sarvangasana (Shoulder Stand Pose)

Technique:

  • Lie down on the back with legs stretched out. Hands should be placed by the sides.
  • While inhaling, slowly raise both the legs together by giving a pause at 300, 600 and 900 angle (without bending the knees) from the ground.
  • Raise the buttocks and the trunk by taking support of the arms and elbows, without lifting the head. Rest the elbows on the ground firmly and support the back with both palms.
  • While retaining the legs parallel to the ground, straighten the trunk by pushing it with the hands until the chin is well set in the suprasternal hollow.
  • Inhale and raise the legs vertically keeping the body erect and come to the final shoulder stand position.
  • Maintain with normal breathing. Carefully avoid all jerks.
  • Slowly come back to Sthiti and relax in Savasana.

Kapalabhati

Technique:

  • Sit in any meditative posture.
  • Close the eyes and relax the body.
  • Inhale deeply through both nostrils, expand the chest.
  • Expel the breath with forceful contractions of the abdominal muscles and relax.
  • Do not strain.
  • Continue active/forceful exhalation and passive inhalation.
  • Complete 40 rapid breaths, then take a deep breath and exhale slowly.
  • This is one round of Kapalabhati.
  • Each round shall be followed by deep breathing.
  • Repeat 2 more rounds.

Nadisodhana or Anuloma Viloma Pranayama (Alternate Nostril Breathing)

Technique:

  • Sit in any meditative posture.
  • Keep the spine and head straight with eyes closed.
  • Relax the body with few deep breathes.
  • Keep the left palm on the left knee in jnana mudra and the right hand should be in Nasagra Mudra.
  • Place the ring and small fingers on the left nostril and fold the middle and index finger. Place the right thumb on the right nostril.
  • Breathe in from the left nostril; close the left nostril with the small and ring fingers and release the thumb from the right nostril; exhale through the right nostril.
  • Next, inhale through the right nostril.
  • At the end of inhalation, close the right nostril, open the left nostril and exhale through it.
  • This complete process is one round of the Nadisodhana or
  • Anuloma Viloma Pranayama.
  • Repeat 5 rounds.

Bhramari Pranayama (Bhramari Recaka)

Technique: Type-I

  • Sit in any meditative posture with eyes closed.
  • Inhale deeply through the nose.
  • Exhale slowly in a controlled manner while making a deep, steady humming sound such as that of black bee. This is one round of Bhramari.
  • Repeat 2 more rounds.

Technique: Type-II

  • Sit in any meditative posture with eyes closed.
  • Inhale deeply through the nose.
  • Close the eyes with index fingers and ears from respective thumbs. This is also called Sanmukhi Mudra.
  • Exhale slowly in a controlled manner while making a deep, steady humming sound such as that of black bee. This is one round of Bhramari.
  • Repeat 2 more rounds.
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