This Atma yoga 2.0 set follows our 1.0 beginner's set. It is more challenging and introduces a wide variety of well known yoga asanas. The emphasis for this set as still on healing and strengthening the postural muscles.
Atma Yoga 2.0 picks up beautifully from 1.0. This set is slightly more challengingand introduces a wide range of popular and well know yoga asanas. As in 1.0 theemphasis is still on healing and strengthening the postural muscles (the musclesthat support your spine.)In Atma Yoga 2.0 the progression is in three parts: from slow-deep floor poses todynamic strength poses with purifying breath work to a series of standing posesthat strengthen and ground you.As always your focus is on awareness of breath and weight. This will give you themost traction in healing and training the mind. Physically it is crucial to practice“coring up’ at the onset, middle and release of each pose.As you become familiar with the set use each pose as a meditation in paying atten-tion. Pay attention the experience of weight. Pay attention to what breathing feelslike. Pay attention to sound that breath makes; “Haaam” on the inhale and “Sa” onthe exhale.Whenever possible train your mind to focus on the deeper sensations of discom-fort. When you choose to feel the body’s resistance to a pose you are training themind. Make a decision that you are not afraid of feeling anything. Inspect all thedifficult sensations in your body with deepening and relentless interest.This practice, which we call ‘Himalayan Yoga’, is a powerful means to begin train-ing the mind for the unique and sacred experience that is your journey of self dis-covery.
Poses1. Baddha-koëäsana(Bound Angle Pose/Cobbler’s Pose) baddha-, bound, restrained koëa-, angle, corner, edge How to execute 1. Sit with your legs straight out in front of you, raising your pelvis on a blanket if your hips or groins are tight. Exhale, bend your knees, pull your heels toward your pelvis, core up1, then drop your knees out to the sides and press the soles of your feet together. 2. Bring your heels as close to your pelvis as you comfortably can. With the first and second finger and thumb, grasp the big toe of each foot. Always keep the outer edges of the feet firmly on the floor. 3. Sit so that the pubis in front and the tailbone in back are equidistant from the floor. The perineum then will be approximately parallel to the floor and the pelvis in a neutral position. Firm the sacrum and shoulder blades against the back and lengthen the front torso through the top of the sternum. 4. Never force your knees down. Instead release the heads of the thigh bones toward the floor. When this action leads, the knees follow. 5. Do slow-deep breathing; inhale deeply, exhale slowly. 6. Stay in this pose anywhere from 1 to 5 minutes. Then inhale, lift your knees away from the floor, and extend the legs back to their original position. Benefits Contraindications Stimulates abdominal organs, ovaries and prostate gland, bladder, and Groin or knee injury: Only perform this pose with blanket support under the outer kidneys thighs. Stimulates the heart and improves general circulation Variations Stretches the inner thighs, groins, and knees Exhale and lean your torso forward between the knees. Remember to come forward Helps relieve mild depression, anxiety, and fatigue from the hip joints, not the waist. Bend your elbows and push them against the inner Soothes menstrual discomfort and sciatica thighs or calves (but never on the knees). If your head doesn’t rest comfortably on Therapeutic for flat feet, high blood pressure, infertility, and asthma the floor, support it on a block or the front edge of a chair seat. Consistent practice of this pose until late into pregnancy is said to help ease childbirth.1 Coring up is the key to not hurting yourself in yoga, by learning to move from a stable core. This process is made up of four components: 1) internally rotate your thighs, 2) pushthe tailbone down toward the floor, 3) pull up on the pelvic floor muscles, 4) pull the navel slightly inwards.
2. Jänuçérñäsana As you descend, bend your elbows out to the sides and lift them away from the floor.(Head-to-Knee Pose) 6. Lengthen forward into a comfortable stretch. The lower belly should touch the thighs first, jänu-, knee the head last. Stay in the pose anywhere from çérña-, head 1 to 3 minutes. Come up with an inhalation and repeat the instructions with the legs reversed How to execute for the same length of time. 1. Sit on the floor with your buttocks lifted on a folded blanket and your legs straight in front of you. Inhale, Benefits bend your right knee, and draw the heel back toward your Calms the brain and helps relieve mild depression perineum. Rest your right foot sole lightly against your Stretches the spine, shoulders, hamstrings, and groins inner left thigh, and lay the outer right leg on the floor, Stimulates the liver and kidneys Improves digestion with the shin at a right angle to the left leg (if your right Helps relieve the symptoms of menopause knee doesn’t rest comfortably on the floor, support it with Relieves anxiety, fatigue, headache, menstrual discomfort Therapeutic for high blood pressure, insomnia, and sinusitis a folded blanket). Strengthens the back muscles during pregnancy (up to second 2. Core up. trimester), done without coming forward, keeping your back spine concave and 3. Press your right hand against the inner right groin, where front torso long. the thigh joins the pelvis, and your left hand on the floor beside the hip. Exhale and turn the torso slightly to the left, lifting the torso as you push down on and ground the inner right thigh. Line up your navel with the middle of the left thigh. You can just stay here, using a strap to help you lengthen the spine evenly, grounding through the sitting bones. 4. Or, when you are ready, you can drop the strap and reach out with your right hand to take the inner left foot, thumb on the sole. Inhale and lift the front torso, pressing the top of the left thigh into the floor and extending actively through the left heel. Use the pressure of the left hand on the floor to increase the twist to the left. Then reach your left hand to the outside of the foot. With the arms fully extended, lengthen the front torso from the pubis to the top of the sternum. 5. Exhale and extend forward from the groins, not the hips. Be sure not to pull yourself forcefully into the forward bend, hunching the back and shortening the front torso.
3. Paçcimota-baddha-konäsana(...) paçcima-, being behind, posterior; western baddha-, bound kona-, angle, corner, edge How to execute 1. Sit with your legs straight out in front of you, raising your pelvis on a blanket if your hips or groins are tight. Exhale, bend your knees, pull your heels toward your pelvis, core up, then drop your knees out to the sides and press the soles of your feet together. 4. Jänu-supta-véräsana/ 2. Bring your heels as close to your pelvis as you comfortably can. With the first and second finger and thumb, grasp the big toe vajräsana (...) of each foot. Always keep the outer edges of the feet firmly on jänu-, knee the floor. If it isn’t possible to hold the toes, clasp each hand supta-, laid down to sleep; sleeping around the same-side ankle or shin. véra-, hero 3. Sit so that the pubis in front and the tailbone in back are vajra-, thunderbolt equidistant from the floor. The perineum then will be approximately parallel to the floor and the pelvis in a neutral How to execute position. Firm the sacrum and shoulder blades against the back and lengthen the front torso through the top of the sternum. 1. Sit with your legs straight out in front of you, and fold the left leg underneat the body or beside the 4. Never force your knees down. Instead release the heads of the hip. Core up. thigh bones toward the floor. When this action leads, the knees 2. Inhale, raise the arms, and gradually bring the follow. navel to the thigh, holding the back straight. 5. Gradually bring the navel down to the floor, holding the back 3. Exhale, come up. Inhale, lay back. straight. 4. Do slow-deep breathing; inhale deeply, exhale slowly. 6. Slow-deep breathing; inhale deeply, exhale slowly. 5. Come up, switch leg and repeat.
5. ... (Leg Cradle) How to execute 1. Sit crossleged. 2. Place the right foot inside the hook of the left arm, and slowly bring it up to the shoulder. 3. Switch side and repeat.6. äkarëa-dhanuräsana([Seated] Archer’s Pose) How to execute 1. With the right arm reach underneath the right leg and grab the foot in the mid section at the arch. Left leg outstretched, toes pulling back. 2. Extend the left arm forward, and with the right arm pull the right leg back like the string of a bow. Keep back straight.7. Upaviñöa-padäìguñöhäsana(...) upaviñöa-, seated, sitting padäìguñöha-, the toe of the feet How to execute 1. Sit with your legs straight out in front of you (dandäsana). Core up. 2. Grab the right toe with the right hand, and raise the foot. 3. Switch side and repeat.
8. Parävåtti-upaviñöa-padäìguñöhäsana (...) parävåtti-, to turn around, revolve, diverted upaviñöa-, seated padäìguñöha-, the toe of the feet How to execute 1. Sit with your legs straight out in front of you (dandäsana). Core up. 2. Grab the right toe with the right hand, and raise the foot. 3. Twist back on a exhale, extending the left arm back. 4. Switch side and repeat.9. Vajräsana 1. Kneel on the floor with the calves and tops of the feet flat on the(Thunderbolt/ floor and the thighs touching.Diamond Pose) 2. Slowly spread the feet, about shoulder distance apart, while keeping the knees together. Place véra-, hero the buttocks flat on the floor. vajra-, thunderbolt; diamond The outer sides of the thighs are touching the inner sides of the How to execute calves and the soles of the feet are exposed facing up. Place 1. Begin by sitting back on your the hands palms downs, on the heels and placing your knees, legs knees. and feet together. 2. Keeping the back straight place Benefits the palms of your hands down on The Vajräsana is a versatile posture top of your thights. well suited for meditation, rest in between other seated postures, orAlternative: Véräsana (”Hero Pose”) as an aid to digestion.
10. Bäläsana/Gärbhäsana (Child’s pose) bäla-, child Alternative: [From Véräsana] > “Frog pose” gärbha-, womb, embryo 1. Open the knees.[From Vajräsana] > “Child’s pose” 2. Lower yourself to the floor, arms outstretched. Benefits How to execute The Baläsana gently stretches and relaxes the 1. Inhale deeply, then exhale as you bring your chest shoulders, neck, back muscles and thighs. It is one of between your knees while swinging your arms the more relaxing Yoga postures. forward. 2. Rest your forehead on the floor, if possible, and then bring your arms around to your sides until the hands are resting on either side of your feet, palms up.
forcefully pull yourself into the forward bend, whether your hands are on the feet or holding the strap. 6. Always lengthen the front torso into the pose, keeping your head raised. 7. If you are holding the feet, bend the elbows out to the sides and lift them away from the floor, if holding the strap, lighten your grip and walk the hands forward, keeping the arms long. The lower belly should touch the thighs first, then the upper belly, then the ribs, and the head last. With each inhalation, lift and lengthen the front torso just slightly; with each exhalation release a little more fully into the forward bend. In this way the torso oscillates and lengthens almost imperceptibly with the breath. Eventually you may be able to stretch the arms out beyond the feet on the floor. 8. Stay in the pose anywhere from 1 to 3 minutes. To come up,11. Paçcimottanäsana first lift the torso away from the thighs and straighten the(Seated Forward Bend) 9. elbows again if they are bent. Then inhale and and lift the torso up by pulling the tailbone down and into the pelvis. paçcima-, being behind, posterior; western uttana-, intense stretch Benefits This äsana stretches the hamstring muscles and increases How to execute flexibility in the hip joints. It tones and massages the entire abdominal and pelvic region 1. Sit on the floor with the legs outstretched, feet including the liver, pancreas, spleen, kidneys and adrenal together and hands flat on the floor next to glands. the hips. This is the starting position. Relax the It removes excess weight in this area and helps alleviate whole body. disorders of the uro-genital system. It stimulates circulation to 2. Slowly bend forward from the hips, keeping the nerves and muscles of the spine. the lordosis in the lumbar region, sliding the It is used in yoga therapy for the management of prolapse, hands down the legs. Be sure your elbows are menstrual disorders, sluggish liver, diabetes, colitus, kidney straight, not bend. complaints, bronchitis and eosinophilia. 3. Try to grasp the big toes with the fingers and contraindications thumbs. If this is impossible, hold the heels, ankles or any part of the legs that can be People who suffer from slipped disc or sciatica should not reached comfortably. practice paçcimottanäsana. 4. You can also loop a strap around the foot Variations soles, and hold the strap firmly. One variation is to bend your elbows in this äsana, when the 5. When you are ready to go further, don’t head touches the knees and the fingers touch the toes.
12. Upaviñöäsana/Çaithilyäsana(Deer/Relaxation pose2) upaviñöa-, seated, sitting çaithilya-, relaxation, looseness How to execute 1. Sit with the feet outstretched on the floor with the hands besides the body, next to the hips and the chest tipped forwards. 2. Now fold in the left leg to the back of your body so that the left knee is pointing forwards and the heel is placed to the outside of the left buttock. 3. Then fold the right leg to the left side of the body, the right sole of the foot should touch the left thigh. 4. Stay in this position and breath slowly, straightening the spine, chest forwards directed to the wall in front of you. Put the hands on the knees and keep the head straight. Relax, then change position and perform this äsana with the left leg. Benefits Stretching of the lumbar and pelvic region, insides of the thighs and opening up the hip joints. It balances the nervous system. It massages the inner digestive organs by gently compressing each side alternately against the thighs. contraindications People who have lower back conditions, they should only bend sideways as far as is comfortable.Variations You can, from the left leg position, turn your chest to the right side as far as possible and raise your hands while inhaling and slowly bring them to the right side of the floor, lowering the head, resting the forehead on the floor, while exhaling. Relax in this position and use Ujjaya breath, as in Deer pose. Then raise up while inhaling and get seated back in Deer pose.2 This äsana resembles a deer when this animal is fully rested and seated on the ground.
straight down at the floor, keeping the throat and eyes soft. 3. Stay anywhere from 30 seconds to 1 minute, with the body alined as if pressed against a imaginary plane of glass. 4. Do 11 diaphragmatic breathing with attention [kapäla-bhäté]. Benefits This äsana strengthens the arms, wrists, spine and tones the abdomen. contraindications People with a carpal tunnel syndrome3 should not do this äsana. Variations After coming into the position, inhale and lift one leg parallel to the floor. Press strongly through the raised13. Kumbhakäsana (Plank pose) heel and lengthen through the crown of your head, keeping the tailbone pressed towards the pubis. Hold for 10kumbhaka-, a pot; the prominance on the upper part of an elephant’s to 30 seconds, exhale the foot to the forehead; the base of a colums. (?) floor, then repeat with the left leg for the same length of time. Note! This is the beginning of diaphragmatic breathing with attention [kapäla-bhäté], i.e. forced emission of breath [expulsion], passive inhalation. How to execute 3 Carpal tunnel syndrome is caused by a trapped nerve between the forearm and the 1. Inhale and draw your torso forward until the arms middle of the hand known as the median nerve. are perpendicular to the floor and the shoulders Sometimes this nerve can become pressured by directly over the wrists, torso parallel to the floor. a squeeze or somehow trapped tightly – typi- 2. Press your front thighs up toward the ceiling, cally at the wrist. This important nerve carries but resist your tailbone toward the floor as you signals which control the various feelings we lengthen it toward the heels. Lift the base of the have in the palm of our hand near the thumb skull away from the back of the neck and look and fingers, excluding the little finger.
14. Adho-mukha-çvanäsana(Downward facing dog) adhas-, below, mukha-, a pot çvana-, a pot How to execute 1. From Plank pose lift your tailbone up to the ceiling, bending the knees. 2. Press your head and chest through your shoulders towards the thighs. 3. Gradually straigthen the legs and bring the heels to the floor. 4. Do 11 diaphragmatic breathing with attention [kapäla-bhäté]. Benefits contraindications Calms the brain and helps relieve stress and This äsana should not be performed by people with mild depression Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, woman who are pregnant in Energizes the body the last months, people who suffer from diarrhea. Stretches the shoulders, hamstrings, calves, arches, and hands For people with high blood pressure or headaches there Strengthens the arms and legs is a way to do this pose, they can support their hands Helps relieve the symptoms of menopause on a bolster or block with the ears leveling between the Relieves menstrual discomfort when done with arms. head supported Helps prevent osteoporosis Variations Improves digestion To challenge yourself in this pose, inhale and raise your Relieves headache, insomnia, back pain, and right leg parallel to the line of your torso, and hold for fatigue 30 seconds, keeping the hips level and pressing through Therapeutic for high blood pressure, asthma, the heel. Release with an exhalation and repeat on the flat feet, sciatica, sinusitis left for the same length of time.
15. Ardha-piïcha-mayüräsana (Dolphin pose) ardha-, half piïcha-, a peacock feather mayüra-, peacock How to execute 1. Lower your knees from the former position, coming down on all 4’s. 2. Interlock your fingers and bring them just above the forehead, while lowering your head to the floor. 3. Lean with your forehead on the floor and straighten the knees, the legs, pushing the tailbone to the ceiling. Keep the back straight, don’t lose the lordosis. Variations Relax in this position. 4. Do 11 diaphragmatic Lift the legs up into the breathing with air and stretch the both attention [kapäla- underarms forwards, bhäté]. palms on the floor.
16. Vyäghräsana [Part I](Tiger pose4) vyäghra-, tiger How to execute 1. Assume the all 4’s position (Märjäräsana, Cat pose), with the hands placed directly under the shoulders. 2. Lift the right leg up with inhalation and try to bring the right foot to the top of the head, usually this won’t work, but there should be the awareness. 3. Look up and point the eyes to a point as far as possible up towards the ceiling. 4. Do 11 diaphragmatic breathing with attention [kapäla-bhäté]. 5. With exhalation, bring the leg back to the starting position. 6. Repeat this practice 3 times or more and then do the same with the left leg. Benefits Reduces weight from the hips and thighs Stimulates the nervous and lymphatic systems. Exercises and loosens the back by bending it alternately in both directions and tones the spinal contraindications nerves. If there is instability in the lumbar region or Osteoporosis5, the Relaxes the sciatic nerves, relieving sciatica and leg should only be raised to the horizontal position. loosens up the legs. Variations Tones the female reproductive organs and is especially beneficial for women after childbirth Combine this and the following practice into one movement by and those who have given birth to many children. going from 1 directly into 2. Practise 5 times with the right leg Stretches the abdominal muscles and then proceed with the left leg. Ujjaya breath is preferably Promotes digestion used. Stimulates blood circulation.4 This asana is so called because it emulates the 5 Osteoporosis is a condition that features loss of the normal densitystretching movement made by a tiger as it wakes up from of bone and fragile bone. Osteoporosis leads to literally abnormally porousdeep sleep. bone that is more compressible like a sponge, than dense like a brick.
17. Vyäghräsana [Part II] (Tiger pose) vyäghra-, tiger How to execute 1. Stay in the all 4’s position and now bring the right leg under the hips by bending the knee upwards towards the tip of the nose of the head, which is bent towards the knee while inhaling. Simultaneously arch the back up. The right foot should not touch the floor. 2. Do 11 diaphragmatic breathing with attention [kapäla- bhäté]. 3. Exhale while releasing the leg to the floor. 4. Repeat this practice 3 times or more and then proceed with the left leg.
18. ürdhva-mukha-çvanäsana(Upward Facing Dog) ürdhva-, rising, erect; upwards, hold up mukha-, face çvan-, dog How to execute 1. From Plank position lower your whole body to the floor, but don’t touch the floor. Stay in this position for just a millisecond. 2. Straighten the arms while simultaneously try to look up to the ceiling, bringing the head back as far as possible. The spine curves as in Cobra pose, but the pelvis and the legs do not touch the floor. 3. Do 11 diaphragmatic breathing with attention [kapäla-bhäté]. 4. Return to Plank pose. Benefits Improves posture Strengthens the spine, arms, wrists Stretches chest and lungs, shoulders, and abdomen Firms the buttocks Stimulates abdominal organs Helps relieve mild depression, fatigue, and sciatica Therapeutic for asthma contraindications This äsana should not be performed by people with a back injury, those who suffer from Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, or women who are pregnant.
19. Vasiñöhäsana (Side plankpose/One Arm Balance) vasiñöha-, most excellent, best How to execute 1. From the Plank pose we lift up our right arm towards the ceiling, while inhaling, balancing the weight of the whole body on the left arm. The palm is faced towards the wall and the head is directed upwards, eyes looking along the arm towards the ceiling. 2. Do 11 diaphragmatic breathing with attention [kapäla-bhäté]. 3. Take a few breaths and lower the arm towards the floor while exhaling and repeat the same, but now with the left arm. The feet can stay in the starting position or they can be joined together, if that will make it easier for the student. contraindications This äsana should not be performed by students with serious wrist, elbow or shoulder injuries. Variations In order to increase the strength and stability of this pose, it’s helpful to work it with your soles pressing against a wall. Perform adho-mukha-çvanäsana with your heels up on a wall, the fingers by wrapping them with the thumb. With an balls of your feet on the floor. When you shift onto the outside inhalation, stretch the leg perpendicularly toward of your left foot, press the sole against the wall. Similarly, when the ceiling. Hold for 15 to 30 seconds, then release you stack your right foot on top of the left, press that sole to the the grip on the toe, and return the top foot to its wall. Then in the pose, push your heels actively into the wall. original position. Repeat on the second side. The full version of this pose, as taught by B. K. S. Iyengar, raises Benefits the top leg perpendicular to the floor. Perform the modified Strengthens the arms, belly, and legs version as described above, either supported or unsupported Stretches and strengthens the wrists by the wall. Exhale, bend the top knee, and draw the thigh Stretches the backs of the legs (in the full version into the torso. Reach inside the bent leg and use the index and described below) middle fingers of the top hand to grab the big toe. Secure these Improves sense of balance
Bäläsana is a resting pose. Stay anywhere from 3020. Bäläsana/Gärbhäsana seconds to a few minutes. Beginners can also use Balasana to get a taste of a deep forward bend, where the torso rests(Child’s pose) on the thighs. Benefits bäla-, child gärbha-, womb, embryo Gently stretches the hips, thighs, and ankles Calms the brain and helps relieve stress and fatigue How to execute Relieves back and neck pain when done with head and torso supported 1. From Vasiñöha go into the plank again and then contraindications lower the knees to the floor. 2. Bring the buttocks back to the heels and rest the This äsana should not be performed by people with diarrhea, women who are pregnant and those who forehead on the floor. have a knee injury, they should seek supervision of an 3. The arms are now outstretched and the student can experienced teacher. decide for him/her self if the arms and the hands will move to the middle of the mat, just above the head Variations to rest. Bring the arms alongside the body to the back, 4. Even breathing (4:4 count). pointing the fingers to the back of the body. The hands are touching the sides of the feet, palms are facing upwards.
21. Vérabhadräsana I (Warrior I) vérabhadra-, a distinguished hero How to execute 1. Stand in Tadäsana. With an exhale, step or lightly jump your feet 3 ½ to 4 feet apart. Raise your arms perpendicular to the floor, clasping the hands together and reach towards the ceiling with the index finger. Firm your scapulas against your back and draw them down toward the coccyx. 2. Turn your left foot in 45 degrees to the right and your right foot facing the front of the room. Exhale and rotate your torso so that it is completely facing the front of the room. As the left hip point turns forward, press the head of the left femur back to ground the heel. 3. With your left heel firmly anchored to the floor, exhale and bend your right knee over the right ankle so the shin is perpendicular to the floor. More flexible students should align their right thigh parallel to the floor. 4. Reach strongly through your arms, lifting the ribcage away from the pelvis. As you ground down through the back foot, Strengthens and stretches the thighs, calves, and feel a lift that runs up the back leg, across the belly and ankles chest, and up into the arms. 5. Stay for 30 seconds to a minute. To come up, inhale, press contraindications the back heel firmly into the floor and reach up through the Heart problems arms, straightening the right knee. Turn the feet forward Students with shoulder problems should keep and release the arms with an exhalation, or keep them their raised arms parallel (or slightly wider than extended upward for more challenge. Take a few breaths, parallel) to each other. then turn the feet to the left and repeat for the same Variations length. When you’re finished return to Tadäsana. The hands are held separately above the head Benefits reaching towards the roof (as seen in the picture). Stretches the chest and lungs, shoulders and neck, belly, The hands are originally resting on the hips, then groins once the forward knee is bent swing the arms Strengthens the shoulders and arms, and the muscles of the behind the torso and clasp the hands. Stretch back your hands away from the back torso.
22. Vérabhadräsana II Stretches the groins, chest and lungs, shoulders(Warrior II) Stimulates abdominal organs Increases stamina vérabhadra-, a distinguished hero Relieves backaches, especially through second trimester of pregnancy How to execute Therapeutic for carpal tunnel syndrome, flat feet, infertility, osteoporosis, and sciatica 1. Stand in Tadäsana. With an exhalation, step or contraindications lightly jump your feet 3 1/2 to 4 feet apart. Raise your arms parallel to the floor and reach them Diarrhoea actively out to the sides, shoulder blades wide, Neck problems: Don’t turn your head to look over the front hand; continue to look straight palms down. ahead with both sides of the neck lengthened 2. Turn your right foot towards the front of the evenly. room, and the left foot parallel to the front of the room. Align the right heel with the left heel. Firm your thighs and turn your right thigh outward so that the center of the right knee cap is in line with the center of the right ankle. 3. Exhale and bend your right knee over the right ankle, so that the shin is perpendicular to the floor. If possible, bring the right thigh parallel to the floor. Anchor this movement of the right knee by strengthening the left leg and pressing the outer left heel firmly to the floor. 4. Stretch the arms away from the space between the shoulder blades, parallel to the floor. Don’t lean the torso over the right thigh: Keep the sides of the torso equally long and the shoulders directly over the pelvis. Press the tailbone slightly toward the pubis. Turn the head to the right and look out over the fingers. 5. Stay for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Inhale to come up. Reverse the feet and repeat for the same length of time to the opposite side. Benefits Strengthens and stretches the legs and ankles
23. Dhanuräsana (Archer’s pose)How to execute1. Standing in Tadäsana, step forward with the right foot. The left foot should be perpendicular to the front of the room and the right foot should be pointing towards the front of the room.2. Bend the left leg and shift the weight of the body onto the back leg.3. Extend the right arm out in front of the body, pointing the fingers towards the front of the room. Benefits Reach out from the fingers, but Core Strengthening making sure that the torso remains Strengthening quadriceps centered and the head, neck and of support leg and support trunk are straight. Bring the left ankle hand back to the shoulder. Focus and concentration4. Keep the gaze focused on a point in front of you. contraindications5. Switch sides Weak knee or ankle
24. Naöaräjäsana (Lord of theDance Pose) naöa-, dancer, acter räjä-, king, lord How to execute 1. Stand in Tadäsana. Inhale, shift your weight onto your left foot, and lift your right heel toward your right buttock as you bend the knee. Press the head of your left thigh bone back, deep into the hip joint, and pull the knee cap up to keep the standing leg straight and strong. 2. Try to keep your torso relatively upright. Reach back with your right hand and grasp your right foot or ankle. To avoid compression in your lower back, actively lift your pubis toward your navel, and at the same time, press your tailbone toward the floor. 3. Begin to lift your right foot up, away from the floor, and back, away from your torso. Extend the right thigh behind you and parallel to the floor. Stretch your left arm up in the air perpendicular to the floor. 4. Stay in the pose for 20 to 30 seconds. Then release the grasp on the foot, place the right foot back onto the floor, and repeat for the same length of time on the other side. Benefits Stretches the shoulders and chest Stretches the thighs, groins, and abdomen Strengthens the legs and ankles Improves balance contraindications Serious lower-back or knee injury Variations Grab the inside of the right foot with the left hand, and the outside of the right foot with the right hand
25. Pavana-muktäsana(Single Knee Hug) pavana-, wind, breeze, air mukta-, freed, liberated How to execute 1. Stand in Tadäsana and core up. Bring the right knee up to the chest and hold beneath the knee with both hands. 2. Pull in tightly towards the body, and stretching up as high as possible. Make sure that the upper body remains relaxed and the head, neck and trunk are straight. Do not collapse the back. 3. Switch to the other leg. Benefits Releases tension in the lower back Promotes balance Strengthens the standing leg Activates the hip flexors Creates compression in the hip joint Massages internal organs contraindications Weak knees
26. Prasärita-padottänäsana(Wide-Legged Forward Bend) prasärita-, extended, held forth (praså-, to move forwards) pada-, foot uttäna-, stretched out, spread out; open How to execute 1. Stand in Tadäsana, then step or lightly hop your feet apart anywhere from 3 to 4 1/2 feet (depending on your height: taller people should step wider). Make sure your inner feet are parallel to each other. Stretch the arms up above your head. Benefits 2. Exhale and, maintaining the length of the front torso, lean the torso forward from the hip joints. As your torso Strengthens and stretches the inner and back approaches parallel to the floor, press your fingertips legs and the spine onto the floor directly below your shoulders. Extend Calms the brain your elbows fully. Your legs and arms then should be Relieves mild backache, fatigue and mild perpendicular to the floor and parallel to each other. Move depression your spine evenly into the back torso so that your back is Energizes heart and lungs; reduces blood slightly concave from the tailbone to the base of the skull. pressure 3. Push your top thighs straight back to help lengthen the Regulates menstrual flow front torso, and draw the inner groins away from each Tones the abdominal organs other to widen the base of your pelvis. Take a few breaths. contraindications As you maintain the concavity of your back and the Lower-back problems: Avoid the full forward forward lift of your sternum, bring your hands behind your bend knees and using this leverage pull your navel towards your Low blood pressure – come out gradually to thighs. avoid dizziness 4. Stay in the pose anywhere from 30 seconds to 1 minute. If you are able to reach your head to the To come out, bring your hands back on the floor below ground, avoid tilting head and compressing your shoulders and lift and lengthen your front torso. Then neck with an inhalation, rest your hands on your hips, pull your tail bone down toward the floor, and swing the torso up. Variations Walk or hop your feet back into Tadäsana. Hands in reverse pranama behind the back
27. Prasärita-uttan-padottänäsana (...) prasärita-, extended, held forth (praså-, to move forwards) ut-, intense tan-, to stretch or extend pada-, foot uttäna-, stretched out, spread out; open How to execute 1. Reach back with your arms, and grab behind legs. 2. Pull with your hands, bringing your forehead closer to the floor. Keep cored up.
28. Daëòa-yamana-vibhaktapada-jänuçérñäsana/pärçvatanäsana(Standing separate leg, head-to-knee pose) daëòa -, stick, rod yamana-, restraining, binding vibhakta-, parted, separated pada-, foot jänu-, knee çérña-, head pärçva-, side How to execute 1. Standing in Tadäsana, step forward with the right foot. The right foot should be pointing towards the front wall, and the left foot should be turned in slightly towards the Benefits right. 2. Stretch the hands above the head. Bending at the hip Helps maintain good blood sugar balance joint, bring the navel down to meet the thigh and the head Helps with colds, sinus problems, migraines to touch the knee. The hands should be on the ground. Good for depression and memory loss Reduces abdominal obesity compresses thyroid and parathyroid glands Helps releive constipation, dyspepsia, flatus dydpepsia and hemorrhoids Stretches, tones and decongests the spinal column and the nervous system Massages the pancreas, liver, gall-bladder, kidneys, spleen, intestines, gonads and bladder Improves blood circulation to legs and brain Strengthens legs
29. Trikoëäsana(Triangle Pose) tri-, three koëa-, a corner, angle How to execute 1. Stand in Tadäsana. With an exhalation, step or lightly jump your feet 3 1/2 to 4 feet apart. Raise your arms parallel to the floor and reach them actively out to the sides, shoulder blades wide, Stimulates the abdominal organs palms down. Helps relieve stress and nervous depression 2. Turn your left foot in slightly to the right and your Improves digestion, stimulates the appetite right foot pointed towards the front of the room. Alleviates constipation 3. Exhale and extend your torso over the right leg, Tones the reproductive organs bending from the hip joint, not the waist. Anchor Helps relieve the symptoms of menopause this movement by strengthening the left leg and Relieves backache, especially through second trimester of pressing the outer heel firmly to the floor. pregnancy 4. Rest your right hand on your shin, ankle, or the Therapeutic for anxiety, flat feet, infertility, neck pain, floor outside your right foot, whatever is possible osteoporosis, and sciatica without distorting the sides of the torso. Stretch your left arm toward the ceiling, in line with the contraindications tops of your shoulders. Look up at the left hand. Diarrhea 5. Stay in this pose for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Inhale Headache to come up, strongly pressing the back heel into the Low blood pressure floor and reaching the top arm toward the ceiling. Heart Condition: Practice against a wall. Keep the top arm Reverse the feet and repeat for the same length of on the hip. time to the left. High blood pressure: Turn the head to gaze downward in Benefits the final pose. Neck problems: Don’t turn your head to look upward; Stimulates blood flow and increases the flow of blood continue looking straight ahead and keep both sides of to the head the neck evenly long. Stretches and strengthens the thighs, knees, and ankles Variations Stretches the hips, groins, hamstrings, and calves; Instead of stretching the top arm toward the ceiling, shoulders, chest, and spine stretch it over the back of the top ear, parallel to the floor.
collarbones. Hang your arms beside the torso. 4. Balance the crown of your head directly over the center of your pelvis, with the underside of your chin parallel to the floor, throat soft, and the tongue wide and flat on the floor of your mouth. Soften your eyes. 5. Tadasana is usually the starting position for all the standing poses. But it’s useful to practice Tadasana as a pose in itself. Stay in the pose for 30 seconds to 1 minute, breathing easily.30. Tadäsana(Mountain pose) Benefits Improves posture tad-, that Strengthens thighs, knees, and ankles Firms abdomen and buttocks How to execute Relieves sciatica Reduces flat feet 1. Stand with feet hips width Physical and mental balance apart, keeping the feet parallel. Lift and spread your toes Variations and the balls of your feet, then lay them softly down on Stretch the arms upwards, with the palms the floor. facing inwards 2. Firm your thigh muscles and lift the knee caps, without Interlace the fingers, extend the arms straight hardening your lower belly. Lift the inner ankles to in front of your torso, turn the palms away, strengthen the inner arches, then imagine a line of energy then stretch the arms upward, perpendicular to all the way up along your inner thighs to your groins, the floor, so the palms face the ceiling and from there through the core of your torso, neck, Cross the arms behind your back, holding each and head, and out through the crown of your head. Turn elbow with the opposite-side hand (be sure to the upper thighs slightly inward. Lengthen your tailbone reverse the cross of the forearms and repeat toward the floor and lift the pubis toward the navel. Bring for an equal length of time). the navel in slightly. 3. Press your shoulder blades into your back, then widen them across and release them down your back. Without pushing your lower front ribs forward, lift the top of your sternum straight toward the ceiling. Widen your