List of Asana(Table)

List of Asana(Table)

Sanskrit Name English Translation Posture Translation Instruction  Durations/Repetitions
Akarna dhanur-asana hooting bow posture

                 

The Sanskrit word karna means ear and the prefix “a” means near to or towards. Dhanur means bow-shaped, curved or bent. The “bow” here referred to is a bow as in “bow and arrow.” Literally we could translate this as the near-the-ear bow posture but because of the obvious appearance of the posture we’ll call it the shooting bow posture.  

1
Sit on the floor with the legs together and extended straight out in front. Keep the back straight, shoulders level and head straight. Place the hands, palms down, flat on top of the thighs then inhale deeply.

2
xhale and reach down and loop the forefinger of the right hand around the big toe of the right foot and grasp the left foot with the left hand.

3
Inhale and pull the right foot back placing the big toe next to the right ear. Straighten the back as much s possible and hold the posture for the duration of the inhale breath.

4
Exhale and return to the seated position of step #1 then repeat the posture on the opposite side.

 

This posture should be held for a minimum of 30 seconds and can be extended to up to several minutes. Repeat at least twice with each leg.

Anjanaya-asana Salutation posture

 

The Sanskrit word anjaneya means salutation or praise from the root anj which means to honor, to celebrate, to anoint.  

1
Sit comfortably in the vajra-asana (thunderbolt pose).

2
Kneel up on your knees until your back, buttocks and thighs are aligned.

3
Extend your left foot foward bending your left knee at about a 90 degree angle.

4
Place the palms of your hands together at the heart in the anjali-mudra.

5
Raise your arms stright up keeping the palms together while bending the head backward and looking up.

6
Slowly bend backward stretching the arms backward and straightening out the right leg. Hold this position for as long as comfortable while breathing gently through the nostrils.

7
Come back to the vajara-asana (thunderbolt pose) then reverse the posture by alternating legs.

Repeat twice on each side.
Ardha Chandra-asana Half Moon posture   The Sanskrit word ardha means “half,” and the word chandra means “moon,” thus, this is the “half moon” posture.  

1
Stand in the tada-asana (Stand with both feet touching from the heel to the big toe, keeping the back straight and the arms pressed slightly against the sides with palms facing inward.

2
Bring the hands together at the chest with palms lightly pressed against each other (the Anjali-mudra).

3
Inhale and raise the arms straight up keeping the palms pressed lightly together.

4
Arch your body backwards keeping your arms alongside your neck and head, tilt the head backward and hold. Keep your knees straight while holding posture.

5
Slowly return to the tada-asana.

Repeat ardha-chandra-asana two to three times.
Ardha Matsyendra-asana Half Spinal Twist posture   Ardha means half. Matsyendra is one of many Siddhas or masters who where accomplished Yogis mentioned in the medieval Yoga text the Hatha-Yoga-Pradipika. This posture posture is traditionally called the Spinal Twist because the spinal column is twisted gently.  

1
Sit in any comfortable cross-legged position.

2
Straighten the legs out in front. Bend the right knee and bring the heel of the right foot close to the left hip.

3
Inhale and bend the left knee upward and place the left foot flat on the floor to the right of the right leg with the ankle touching the right thigh.

4
While turning the spine to the left straighten the right arm bringing it around to the outside of the left knee and grasp the left foot with the right hand.

5
Turn your head as far as possible to the left and bend the left arm behind your back. Keep your spine, neck and head aligned and continue to exert effort at turning to the left.

6
Repeat the posture the other side by reversing directions 2-6.

The posture can be held for as long as you are comfortable. (One repetition consists of performing the posture on each side. Two to three full repetitions should be done at each session.
Baddha kona-asana Restrained angle posture   The Sanskrit word baddha means a bond, chain, caught or restrained. The word pada means foot, and kona means corner or angle therefore this is the restrained-foot-angle posture.  

1
Sit on the floor with the legs together and extended straight out in front. Keep the back straight, shoulders level and head straight. Place the hands, palms down, flat on top of the thighs then inhale deeply.

2
Exhale and bend the knees drawing the feet toward the torso.

3
Place the soles of the feet together, clasp the hands over the feet interlocking the fingers pulling the feet closer and placing the heels against the perineum. The outer edge and small toe of each foot should touch the floor.

4
Lower the knees to the floor and keep the back straight. Use the elbows to press down on the thighs if necessary to bring the calves and knees to the floor. Hold the posture breathing gently through the nostrils.

5
Release the posture and sit with the legs extended out and hands on the thighs.

Hold the posture from thirty seconds to two minutes depending on comfort. Repeat two or three times.
Bala-asana Child posture

     

 

The Sanskrit word bala means child.  

1
Sit on your knees with your feet together and buttocks resting on your heels. Separate your knees about the width of your hips. Place your hands on your thighs, palms down. (This is the vajra-asana or Thunderbolt Pose).

2
Inhale deeply, then exhale as you bring your chest between your knees while swinging your arms forward.

3
Rest your forehead on the floor, if possible, and then bring your arms around to your sides until the hands on resting on either side of your feet, palms up.

4
Breath gently through your nostrils as you hold the posture. Hold for about one to two minutes. Then return to asn upright kneeling position with your back straight and your hands on your thighs.

5
Repeat the posture at least one more time.

The bala-asana can be held for as long as is comfortable. Repeat at least twice if it is held for less than a minute.
Chakra-asana Wheel posture    

Chakra, from the root cak (“to move”) means wheel and therefore this is the Wheel Posture.
The cakra-asana is also known as the urdhva-dhanurasana. Urdhva means raised, elevated or upright and dhanur means bow. Both “wheel posture” and “raised bow posture” describe the appearance of this asana.

 

1
Lie flat on the back in the shava-asana.

2
While exhaling bend the knees and bring the feet as close to the buttocks as possible with the soles of the feet flat on the floor.

3
Bend the arms at the elbows and place the palms of the hands flat on the floor directly under each shoulder with the fingers pointing toward the back.

4
While inhaling slowly, begin to raise the head, back and buttocks off the floor while arching the spine. Continue to press downward on the hands and feet while raising the hips and stomach as high as possible.

5
Hold for the duration of the held inhaled breath. When you can’t hold the breath comfortable any longer, slowly exhale and return the back to the floor, slide the legs out straight returning to the shava-asana.

The chakra-asana is either held for the duration of the inhaled breath or between one and three minutes while breathing gently through the nostrils. Repeat it two or three times.
Dhanur-asana Bow posture   The Sanskrit word dhanur means bow-shaped, curved or bent. The bow referred is a bow as in “bow and arrow.” This asana is so named because the body mimics the shape of a bow with its string stretched back ready to shoot an arrow.  

1
Lie on the stomach with the head turned to one side and the arms alongside the body with palms facing upward.

2
Turn the head and place the chin on the floor. Exhale, bend the knees, reach back with the arms and grasp the right ankle with the right hand and the left ankle with the left hand.

3
While inhaling, slowly raise the legs by pulling the ankles up and raising the knees off the floor while simultaneously lifting the chest off the floor. Hold the inhale breath. The weight of the body should be resting on the abdomen.

4
Tilt the head as far back as possible. Hold the posture as long as you can comfortably hold the inhale breath.

5
Slowly exhale bringing the knees to the floor, release the ankles, slowly bring the legs and arms straight down on the floor and turn the head to one side, assuming the prone posture you began with.

The dhanur-asana is either held for the duration of the inhaled or between one and three minutes while breathing gently through the nostrils. Repeat it two or three times.
Ekapada-asana One-legged posture   The Sanskrit word eka means one and pada means foot making this the one-foot, or more commonly, one-legged pose.  

1
Stand with the feet together and the arms by your sides (see the tad-asana).

2
Focus the eyes straight ahead on a spot midway between waist and eye level and remain focused there throughout this asana. (standing about five feet from a wall would be helpful).

3
Inhale and extend the arms directly in front, parallel with the floor with thumbs touching.

4
Exhale and raise the right knee bending the leg at a 90 degree angle, pause for a moment then extend the leg straight out in front pointing the toes forward.

5
Pause for a moment then swing the leg backward while bending forward at the waist.

6
Breath slowly through the nostrils and make sure the arms, torso and legs are parallel with the floor.

7
Hold the posture for at least 30 seconds and then return slowly to a standing position.

This posture should be held for a minimum of 30 seconds and can be extended to up to several minutes. Repeat at least twice on each foot.
Garuda-asana Half Spinal Twist posture   The Sanskrit word garuda means eagle. In Hindu dharma Garuda is known as the king of birds. He transports the God Vishnu and is said to be eager to help humanity fight against deamons.  

1
Stand with the feet together and the arms by your sides (see the tad-asana or mountain pose).

2
Draw the left foot upward bending the knee and wrap the left foot around your right leg as you rest the back of your left thigh on the right thigh.

3
Cross your arms at the elbows, left over right.

4
Join the palms of your hands together keeping the fingers pointed upward.

5
Inhale and hold the posture for the duration of the inhaled breath.

6
Exhale and return to the tada-asana. Repeat the posture on the opposite side, wrapping the right leg over the left and the right arm over left.

Hold the hala-asana for as long as you are comfortable. 20-30 seconds is fine for early attempts, increase the time gradually as you become more comfortable. You can also try holding the posture for as long as you can hold the inhaled breath. Repeat 2 or 3 times on each leg.
Gomukha-asana Cow face posture   Gomukha literally means “cow face” in Sanskit.  

1
Sit in a crossed-leg position, right leg over left.

2
Spread the legs as far apart as possible without bending the knees.

3
Bend the left knee and place the bottom of the left foot against the inner left thigh. Bring the left heel as close to the perineum as possible. Keep the left knee on the floor.

4
Grasp the right foot with the left hand and keeping the foot on the floor place the heel of the right foot against the front-left portion of the left buttock. The right knee should be directly on top of the left knee.

5
Inhale slowly through the nostrils and raise the right hand over the head and bend the right elbow. Reach behind the back with the left hand and clasp the fingers of both hands (forming an “s” shaped lock).

6
SHold the posture as long as you can comfortably hold the inhale breath. Exhale slowly and then repeat the posture reversing the arms and legs.

You can either hold the posture while the breath is held or you can try holding the posture while breathing gently through the nostrils. If you choose to breath, then hold the posture for thirty seconds to a minute. Repeat the gomukha-asana two to three times on each side.

Hala-asana Plow posture

 

The The Sanskrit word Hala means plow, as in a traditional plow that is drawn by a horse or oxen. When performing this posture your body resembles a plow.  

1
Lie flat on the back in the shava-asana.

2
Inhale through the nostrils. Place the palms face-down on the floor. Keeping the hips on the floor, bend the knees and bring them up toward the stomach while exhaling.

3
Inhale, then while exhaling, raise the legs straight up perpendicular to the floor. You may support your hips with your hands or leave the arms flat on the floor, whichever is most comfortable.

4
Exhale and continue to raise the legs over the head, bending at the waist, lifting the back and buttocks until the toes touch the floor directly in back of the head. Keep the feet together. If the lower back is supported by the hands try returning the arms flat to the floor with the palms facing down. If you are unable to comfortably place the arms on the floor continue to support the lower back with the hands.

5
Keep the knees straight. Breath slowly through the nostrils and hold the posture for several minutes. If you cannot touch the floor with your toes hold them as close to the floor as possible and continue to exert effort to lower them.

6
Reverse the steps to return to the shava-asana.

Hold the hala-asana for as long as you are comfortable. 20-30 seconds is fine for early attempts, increase the time gradually as you become more comfortable.
Hasta-pada-angusta Hand-foot-big toe posture

 

The Sanskrit word hasta means hand, pada means foot, and angusta means big toe therefore this is the hand-foot-big toe posture.  

1
Sit on the floor with the legs together and extended straight out in front. Keep the back straight, shoulders level and head straight. Place the hands, palms down, flat on top of the thighs.

2
Spread the legs as far apart as possible without bending the knees.

3
Bend the left knee and place the bottom of the left foot against the inner left thigh. Bring the left heel as close to the perineum as possible. Keep the left knee on the floor.

4
Stretch both arms straight out in front of you, then keeping the back straight turn slowly at the waist toward the right aligning the arms with the right leg.

5
Inhale slowly while raising the arms over the head and arching the back.

6
Exhale and slowly while bending forward bringing the chest down to the right thigh. Clasp the big toe of the right foot with the first finger of both hands. Hold this position for the duration of the exhaled breath.

7
Inhale slowly through the nostrils releasing the posture while sitting up straight.

8
Straighten the left leg and return to the seated position described in step 2 then repeat the posture, this time bending the right leg.

Repeat two or three times on each leg.
Matsya-asana Fish posture    The Sanskrit word matsya means fish, therefore this is the fish posture. Matsya (depicted to the left) is a divine being, found in Hindu dharma, that saved mankind from a universal flood.  

1
Lie flat on the back in the shava-asana.

2
Keeping the buttocks on the floor, inhale and raise the head, shoulders, back and upper arms off the floor arching the back and raising the chest up. Tilt the head back and place the top of the head flat on the floor.

3
Raise the elbows off the floor bring your hands up just below the chest and join them at the palms with the fingers pointing straight up (form the anjali-mudra or salutation hand gesture). Hold for the duration of the inhale breath or breath gently through the nostrils to remain in the posture longer.

4
Return to the shava-asana.

Since this is not a difficult posture, it is recommended that you breath while holding it for between two and four minutes. If you are uncomfortable breathing, hold the posture for the duration of the inhaled breath. Repeat two or three times.
Naga-asana Cobra or Snake posture   The Sanskrit word naga means snake or serpent. The naga-asana is also known as the bhujanga-asana. The Sanskrit word bhujanga, which also means snake, is derived from the root bhuj which means to bend or curve.  

1
Lie on the stomach with the head turned to one side and the arms alongside the body with palms facing upward.

2
Turn the head and place the chin on the floor. Inhale then exhale slowly through the nostrils and swing the arms around until the hands are placed just below the chin with the palms down and the finger tips of each hand almost touching and the elbows on the floor.

3
Inhale slowly through the nostrils, press down on the hands and lift the torso from the waist up off the floor, arching the spine backwards and straightening the arms. Keep the hips on the floor.

4
Tilt the head as far back as possible and hold the posture for the duration of the inhaled breath.

5
Exhale and reverse the process to return to position #1.

Hold the posture for either the duration of a held inhaled breath or from one-half to three minutes. Repeat the naga-asana two to five times.

Nataraja-asana King of the Dance posture   The Sanskrit word nata means dancer and raja means king. Nataraja is another name for Shiva, the Lord of the Dance, whose cosmic dance is the creation and destruction of the world.  

1
Stand with the feet together and the arms by your sides (see the tad-asana).

2
Inhale and bend the right leg backward grasping the left foot with your left hand while simultaneously extending the right arm straight out in front.

3
Continue raising the right arm upward until it is about 45 degrees from the floor while lifting the left leg as high as possible with the left arm.

4
Hold the posture while breathing gently through the nostrils. Keep your gaze fixed slightly above the horizon.

5
Remain in the nataraja-asana for about one minute then return slowly to a standing position. Repeat by reversing directions 2-4.

Begin by holding the nataraja-asana for about a minute and gradually increase the time as you become more comfortable with this posture. Repeat it three times on each side, alternately from right to left.
Padma-asana Lotus posture   The Sanskrit word padma means lotus. Besides the obvious reference to the similarity of the folded legs to lotus petals, the lotus hold special significance in reference to Yoga and Meditation. Though rooted in the mud, the lotus blossom rises above to blossom in the sun. Although it grows in pools of water the leaves of the lotus always remain dry. The symbolism of the lotus points to the purity of consciousness and the journey of transformation from ignorance to awakening.  

1
Sit on the floor with the legs stretched out straight in front.

2
Bend the right knee and grasp the right foot with both hands and place it on top of the left thigh bringing the heel as close to the navel as possible.

3
Bend the left knee and grasp the left foot with both hands and place it on top of the right thigh bringing the heel as close to the navel as possible.

4
Both knees should be on the ground and the soles of the feet are pointed upward. The spine is held straight but not rigid.

5
The position of the legs may be switched after a period of time if the posture becomes uncomfortable.

The length of time to sit in the padma-asana depends on your intention. In the course of a typical asana routine you might hold it for several minutes or until you experience discomfort in the legs. When used as a meditation posture you hold it for the duration of the meditation.
Parivritta-parshvakona Turned Side-Angle posture   The Sanskrit word parivritta means revolved, turned round or back, parsva means side and kona means angle.  

1 Stand with the feet together and the arms by your sides (see the tad-asana).
2 Inhale and spread your legs apart slightly further than shoulder distance (about 3-4 feet).
3 Stretch your arms straight out from the shoulders parallel to the floor with your palms facing down.
4 Exhale slowly and turn your right foot toward the right 90 degrees. Bend your right knee about 90 degrees.
5 Place the palm of your left hand flat on the floor next to the outside of your right foot. Rest the right elbow on the outside of the right knee.
6 Stretch the right arm over your head, parallel with the floor, with the inside of the elbow resting on the ear. Hold for abot 30-60 seconds while breathing gently through the nostrils.
7 Slowly return to a standing position and repeat on the other side reversing directions 2-6.

Hold the posture for as long as is comfortable. Performing the parivritta-purvashakona-asana once on each side is considered one repetition. Do 2 or 3 repetitions.
Pavana mukta-asana Wind-releasing posture

 

The Sanskrit word pavana means air or wind and mukta means freedom or release, therefore this is the “wind relieving posture” so named because it assists in releasing trapped digestive gas from the stomach and intestines.  

1
Lie flat on the back in the shava-asana.

2
Inhale and bend the right knee and pull it close to the torso with both hands while interlocking the fingers just below the knee. Keep the left leg flat on the floor.

3
Hold the inhaled breath for a few seconds then exhale slowly through the nostrils and lift the back, shoulders and head off the floor and touch the knee with the forehead.

4
Hold the exhaled breath for a few seconds then slowly inhale and return the back, shoulders and head to the floor. Remain holding the knee.

5
Hold the inhaled breath for a few seconds then exhale while bringing the right leg to the floor.

6
Lie flat on the back in the shava-asana for a few seconds then repeat beginning with the left leg.

Hold each of the four parts of this posture (corresponding with the held breaths) for three to five seconds each. Repeat the purvasa-mukta-asana three to five times on each side.
Sarvanga-asana Shoulder stand posture   The Sanskrit word sarvaanga means limb or body. sarvanga therefore translates as either “all-limb” or “whole-body posture”. It is so named because of the benefit it provides to the entire body. It is commonly referred to as the “shoulder-stand” because one is essentially standing on one’s shoulders.  

1
Lie flat on the back in the shava-asana.

2
Inhale through the nostrils. Place the palms face-down on the floor. Keeping the hips on the floor, bend the knees and bring them up toward the stomach while exhaling.

3
Inhale slowly through the nostrils, press down on the hands and lift the torso from the waist up off the floor, arching the spine backwards and straightening the arms. Keep the hips on the floor.

4
Inhale, then while exhaling, raise the legs straight up perpendicular to the floor. You may support your hips with your hands or leave the arms flat on the floor, whichever is most comfortable.

5
The legs should be together with the knees straight and toes pointed straight up. Keep the head straight without turning it to either side. The chin should be pressed against the chest.

6
Breath gently through the nostrils while the posture is held.

7
Reverse the steps to return to the shava-asana.

Hold the sarvanga-asana anywhere from one to five minutes depending on comfort. Repeat the posture two or three times.
Shalabha-asana Locust posture   The Sanskrit word Shalabha means locust or grasshopper. There is a variation of this posture called the viparita-shalabha-asana. The Sanskrit word viparita means “reverse.” This is an advanced variation not covered here.  

1
Lie on the stomach with the head turned to one side and the arms alongside the body with palms facing upward.

2
Turn the head and place your chin on the floor. Slide your hands under your thighs, with the palms pressed gently against the top of your thighs.

3
Inhale slowly and then raise the head, chest, and legs off the floor as high as possible. Tilt your head as far back as possible. Keep your feet, knees, and thighs pressed together.

4
Starting at the top of the head and working your way down to the feet, bring your attention to each part of your body, consciously relaxing it before proceeding on to the next.

5
Remain in the posture while holding the breath. You can support your legs by pressing the hands upward against your thighs.

6
Hold the posture for as long as you can hold the inhaled breath then slowly return the legs, chest, and head to the floor while exhaling.

7
Remove your hands from under your thighs and place the arms alongside your body. Turn your head to the side and rest.

Hold this posture for as long as you can hold the inhaled breath. Repeat the shalabha-asana three times.
Shava-asana Corpse posture   The Sanskrit word shava means corpse hence this is the Corpse. The shava-asana is also known as the mrta-asana.  

1
Lie flat on your back with your legs together but not touching, and your arms close to the body with the palms facing up.

2
Keep your eyes gently closed with the facial muscles relaxed and breath deeply and slowly through the nostrils.

3
Starting at the top of the head and working your way down to the feet, bring your attention to each part of your body, consciously relaxing it before proceeding on to the next.

4
Remain in the shava-asana for between 3 and 5 minutes or longer. If you become sleepy while in the shava-asana begin to breath a bit faster and deeper.

We recommend that you begin your period of yoga-asana practice with at least 3-5 minutes of shava-asana. Return to it periodically throught your posture session to relax and rejuvinate the body/mind and then conclude your session with at least 3-5 minutes more.
Siddha-asana Accomplished posture   The Sanskrit word siddha means accomplished or adept, one who has attained the highest. The name implies the attainment of a perfectly stilled mind and the experience of peace that results from meditation. The siddha-asana is a recommended pose for meditation.  

1
Begin in a seated posture. Bend the left knee and grasp the left foot with both hands and place the heel against the perineum and the sole of the foot against the inside of the right thigh.

2
Exhale and reach down and loop the forefinger of the right hand around the big toe of the right foot and grasp the left foot with the left hand.

3
Bend the right knee, grasp the right foot with both hands and place the outside edge of the right foot where the calf and thigh of the left leg meet, right ankle over left ankle. The heel of the right foot should line up approximately with the navel and be as close to the pubic area as possible.

4
With palms up, place the hands on the knees, form a circle with the thumb and forefinger and extend the remaining fingers straight ahead.

Sit in the siddha-asana for a minimum of 2 seconds and extended the time up to ten minutes or more.

Sirsha-asana Headstand posture

 

The Sanskrit word sirsha means head. This posture is the well-known headstand posture, and perhaps second only to the padma-asana or lotus posture, is widely identified with the practice of Yoga.  

1
Sit in a kneeling position with the buttocks resting on the heels of the feet.

2
Lean forward and place the forearms on the floor in front while keeping the elbows about shoulder distance apart. Interlock the fingers of both hands.

3
Place the top of the head flat on the floor with the back of the head pressed against the inside of the interlocked fingers.

4
Placing the tips of the toes firmly on the floor while lifting the heels, raise the knees off the floor.

5
Hold for the duration of the held inhaled breath. When you can’t hold the breath comfortable any longer, slowly exhale and return the back to the floor, slide the legs out straight returning to the shava-asana.

Hold the sirsha-asana for 15-30 seconds when you first attempt it and increase the duration gradually over a period of a few weeks. As you skill increases you should hold it for as long as you feel comfortable.
Surya-namaskar Sun Salutation        
Tada-asana Mountain pose   The Sanskrit word tada means mountain. This posture is also known by the name samasthiti-asana. Sama means unmoved, equilibrium, and sthiti means standing upright or firmly, abiding, remaining, thus samasthiti means standing firmly without moving.  

1
Stand with both feet touching from the heel to the big toe, keeping the back straight and the arms pressed slightly against the sides with palms facing inward.

2
Slightly tighten or flex the muscles in the knees, thighs, stomach and buttocks maintaining a firm posture. Balance you weight evenly on both feet.

3
Inhale through the nostrils and lift the buttocks off the legs arching the back and thrusting the abdomen forward and tilt the head as far back as possible.

One repetition for several minutes is advisable. The tada-asana is also recommended prior to and following any other standing posture.
Trikona-asana Triangle pose   The Sanskrit word tri means three and kona means corner or angle. Thus “three corner or three angle posture” is often called the triangle posture. This posture is also known as the utthita trikona-asana. Utthita means stretched or extended thus this is the Extended Triangle Pose.  

1 Stand with the feet together and the arms by your sides (see the tada-asana).
2 Separate the feet slightly further than shoulder distance apart.
3 Inhale and raise both arms straight out from the shoulders parallel to the floor with the palms facing down.
4 Exhale slowly while turning the torso to the left, bend at the waist and bring the right hand down to the left ankle. The palm of the right hand is placed along the outside of the left ankle. The left arm should be extended upward. Both legs and arms are kept straight without bending the knees and elbows.
5 Turn the head upward to the left and gaze up at the fingertips of the left hand. Inhale and return to a standing position with the arms outstretched.
6 Hold this position for the duration of the exhaled breath. Exhale and repeat steps 4 – 6 on the opposite side.

Remain in the forward bending position for the duration of the exhale breath. Do two or three repetitions (one repetition consists of bending forward on both sides).

Ugra-asana Powerful posture   The Sanskrit word ugra means powerful, mighty, strong or noble. We usually keep this posture untranslated but it can be called the noble or powerful posture.  

1
Sit on the floor with the legs together and extended straight out in front. Keep the back straight, shoulders level and head straight. Place the hands, palms down, flat on top of the thighs then inhale deeply.

2
Exhale and extend the arms straight out in front, parallel with the floor with fingers pointed straight ahead and palms facing down.

3
Inhale slowly while raising the arms over the head, keeping them straight, and bending as far back as is comfortable. Tilt the head back and look up at the hands.

4
Exhale slowly bending forward at the waist and grasp the feet with the hands. Bring the head as close to the knees as possible, placing it on the knees if you can, keeping the legs straight. (If you are unable to grasp the feet then grasp the ankles).

5
Hold that position for the duration of the exhale breath.

6
Inhale slowly and return to the seated position described in step #1.

Repeat this posture two or three times holding each repetition for the duration of the exhaled breath and take at least three deep breaths in-between each repetition. As you become more adept at doing the ugra-asana you may begin breathing slowly through the nostrils while holding the posture to increase its duration.

Ushtra-asana Camel posture   The Sanskrit word ushtra means camel.  

1
Sit up on the knees with the heels of the feet pressed against the buttocks and the calves of the legs flat on the floor.

2
Reaching backward, grasp the left ankle with the left hand and right ankle with the right hand.

3
Inhale through the nostrils and lift the buttocks off the legs arching the back and thrusting the abdomen forward and tilt the head as far back as possible.

4
Either hold the posture for the duration of the inhale breath or breath gently through the nostrils while holding the posture.

5
Exhale and return to the kneeling position.

Hold the posture for the duration of the inhaled breath. If you choose to breath while holding the ushtra-asana, hold it for between thirty seconds to one minute. Repeat the posture three times.

Vajra-asana Diamond posture   The Sanskrit word vajra means thunderbolt or diamond.  

1
The vajra-asana is a seated posture. Begin by sitting back on your heels and placing your knees, legs and feet together.

2
Keeping the back straight place the palms of your hands down on top of your thights.

3
Breath gently thorugh your nostrils and sit in this position for at least three minutes.

The vajra-asana can be held for as long as is comfortable(and depending on the reason for doing the posture).

Vira-asana Hero posture   The Sanskrit word vira means hero, brave or eminent man, or warrior.  

1
Kneel on the floor with the calves and tops of the feet flat on the floor and the thighs touching.

2
Slowly spread the feet, about shoulder distance apart, while keeping the knees together. Place the buttocks flat on the floor. The outer sides of the thighs are touching the inner sides of the calves and the soles of the feet are exposed facing up. Place the hands palms downs, on the knees and form a circle with the thumb and forefinger (in the chin-mudra) while pointing the other fingers straight ahead.

3
Breath slowly and deeply through the nostrils and remain motionless for six complete breaths (an inhale and exhale is one complete breath).

4
Inhale slowly and stretch the arms straight up over the head and interlock the fingers with the palms pushed upward. Remain in this position for six complete breaths.

5
Exhale slowly, release the fingers and slowly bend forward at the waist while placing the palms of the hands flat on the soles of the feet. Place the chin between the knees.

6
Hold this position for the duration of six complete breaths.Inhale, raise the chest up, stretch the legs straight ahead and place the hands, palms down, on top of the thighs.

Hold the posture from several minutes as part of an asana session or for the duration of your meditation or pranyama.
Vriksha-asana Tree pose   The Sanskrit word vriksha means tree, thus this is the Tree Posture.  

1
Stand with the feet together and the arms by your sides (see the tad-asana).

2
Bend the right leg at the knee, raise the right thigh and bring the sole of the right foot as high up the inside of the left thigh as possible.

3
Balancing on the left foot, raise both arms over the head keeping the elbows unbent and joining the palms together. Hold the posture while breathing gently through the nostrils for about 10 complete breaths.

4
Lower the arms and right leg and return to the tad-asana, standing position with feet together and arms at the sides. Pause for a few moments and repeat on the opposite leg.

Hold the vriksha-asana as long as your comfortably can. Repeat it two or three times on each leg.
 Vrischika-asana Scorpion pose

 

  

Vrischika is the Sanskrit word for scorpion. This posture is so named because the body resembles a scorpion with its tail arched above its head ready to sting its victim. Although it may not be a simple posture for beginners to perform, the Scorpion is not as difficult as it may at first seem.  

1
Kneel on the floor and lean forward placing the elbows and forearms flat on the floor with the palms facing down. Your arms should be placed about shoulder-distance apart.

2
Extend your head forward and lift it as high as possible.

3
Raise the buttocks and place the feet firmly on the bottoms the toes.

4
Inhale a swing the legs up and over the head while maintaining your balance. Bring the legs straight up over your head.

5
Slowly bend the knees and drop the legs toward the head being careful not to move too quickly or drop the legs to far while maintaining balance.

6
Reverse the steps above and return to a kneeling position.

Hold the vrischika-asana for as long as you are comfortable. Keep in mind that returning from the posture gracefully without falling out of it will take some strength, so don’t hold it too long. 20-30 seconds is fine for early attempts, increase the time gradually as you become more proficient.

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