How to do Warrior Pose II & its Benefits

How to do a Warrior Pose II
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When you practice Yoga, your yoga mat becomes the battlefield and obviously, the monkey mind is your enemy as it asks you many questions whether you can practice this pose or that pose. What you need at that time to learn the practice? Umm, You need to strengthen your body and mind to achieve that, isn’t it? There is one yoga pose which helps you to face the challenge and defeat them gracefully with determination. We are talking about a Warrior Pose which is called as Warrior Pose II.

Vira-Courageous or Warrior | Bhadra- Good or Auspicious | Asana-Pose

This asana is pronounced as veer-ah-bah-DRAHS-anna, Sanskrit- वीरभद्रासन. Sometimes, this pose is also called as Virabhadrasana II. This is one of the most graceful poses in Yoga. This basically celebrates the achievements of a mythological warrior. This asana is named after the Hindu mythological warrior called Virabhadra who was an incarnation of Lord Shiva. People say Virabhadra was a tall, dark and fierce warrior depicted with a thousand arms, thousand feet, wearing a tiger’s skin and a garland of skulls.

Level of Asana: Basic Series, Beginner Yoga, Vinyasa style

Stretches: Shoulders, legs, lungs, ankles and groin

Target areas: Ankles, legs

Benefits of Warrior Pose II

  1. This asana helps to promote courage, endurance and improves concentration
  2. Therapeutic for infertility, flat feet, sciatica, osteoporosis, and carpal tunnel syndrome
  3. Stimulates abdominal organs and improves digestion
  4. Stretches shoulders, groins, chest, and lungs
  5. Strengthens and tones abdomen, ankles and arches of the feet
  6. Beneficial for pregnant women in their 2nd trimester as it helps to relieve backaches
  7. Helps to increase flexibility, stamina and develops the balance of body
  8. Increases blood circulation throughout the body
  9. Improves your breathing (respiration) capacity

Precautions

If you have any recent or current medical concerns, discuss with your doctor before practising this yoga pose. Practitioners suffering from high blood pressure, recent knee, hip or shoulder injury shouldn’t practice this pose. People suffering from diarrhea should avoid this pose. Practice this pose under the supervision of a certified yoga teacher, if you had spinal disorders in the past or have just recovered from an illness. If you are suffering from neck problems, then don’t turn your head to look over the front head. Keep your head straight with both sides of the neck lengthened evenly.

Steps to do a perfect Warrior Pose II

  1. Stand straight in Tadasana (Mountain Pose) and with an exhalation spread your legs about three to four feet apart.
  2. Turn your left foot 90 degree outwards and your right foot inwards by about 15 degrees. Make sure that the heel of your left foot is aligned perfectly with that of the right foot.
  3. Now, raise both your arms sideways so that they are at your shoulder height with palms facing downwards and arms parallel to the floor.Warrior Pose-II
  4. Inhale and as you exhale, bend your left knee. Ensure that your left knee and left ankle are in one straight line. Gently turn your head and look to the left.
  5. When you feel comfortable in this position, stretch your arms and gently push your pelvis down. Keep the sides of torso equally long and shoulders should be placed directly over the pelvis.
  6. Press the tailbone slightly towards the pubis. Keep breathing and stay in this pose just like a warrior stays on a battlefield.
  7. Now, inhale and come out of the pose. Exhale and drop your arms. Come to the Tadasana.
  8. Relax and repeat this pose with the other side.

Variations and Modifications

If beginners find their hips very tight, then shorten your stance and straighten your front leg to a degree that is comfortable. Place your hands on your hips if you have a shoulder injury or if you are still building your upper strength. When you bend the left knee to a right angle, bend it very quickly with an exhalation, and aim that the inside of the left knee is towards the little toe side of the left foot.

If you want to increase the stretch in the torso, lean the torso slightly away from the bent leg, and tilt your arms parallel to the line of the top of your shoulders.

Tips

You must make sure to keep your stomach and bowels empty before you practice this pose. Ensure to have your meals at least four to five hours before you do the asana so that your food gets properly digested, and you can expand your body fully during the practice.

Practising Warrior Pose II requires your attention, concentration and proper alignment. Always remember that the leg and foot should be placed first. Ensure that your front knee is aligned with your front ankle. Don’t allow your knee to drift to the left, as this can strain the knee joint and you will end up injuring yourself. Instead of that slightly move out toward the baby toe. Keep your focus on a single point and be like a warrior.

Understand the procedure correctly to reap the benefits of this pose. This pose is pretty beneficial for pregnant women in their second and third trimesters. You must consult your doctor and yoga teacher before practising this pose. Use support at the knee, if you have arthritis or knee problems.

Preparatory Poses

Vrikshasana

Utthita Trikonasana

Baddha Konasana

Supta Padangusthasana

Follow Up Poses

Vrikshasana

Utthita Trikonasana

Bakasana

Warrior Pose II is an amazing tool to build your inner strength and stability. It requires strength, stability and lot of flexibility in the upper body and hips. Practice this pose regularly, and you will become stronger to face daily chaos and battle with ease and grace. Now, you know all the benefits of Warrior Pose and how to be a true warrior, then why to wait? Enjoy your Yoga practice and have an awesome day! Never force your body to master the pose. Take your own time and practice within your own limits and ability. If you feel this article is helpful to you then share your experience with us by commenting below. We would be happy to hear from you!

“Calming the mind is Yoga. Not just standing on the head.”- Swami Satchidananda

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How to do Crescent Lunge Pose and its Benefits

“Yoga is the fountain of youth. You’re only as young as your spine is flexible.”

How to do Crescent Lunge Pose

Are you in search of building strength and improve concentration and balance? Today, we are talking about a powerful standing pose which would help to build strength, balance and mental focus. This pose is called as Anjaneyasana. The name Anjaneya comes from matronymic of Hanuman, whose mothers name is Anjani.

Anjaneya-Salutation | Asana-Pose

This asana is pronounced as AHN-jah-nay-AHS-uh-nuh, Sanskrit- अंजनेयासन. Sometimes, this pose is also called as Salutation Pose, which is normally performed in Sun Salutation sequence.

Level of Asana: Basic Series, Vinyasa

Stretches: Glutes, quadriceps and hips

Target areas: Legs, groin and hip

Benefits of Crescent Lunge

  1. This asana helps to expand front of your body.
  2. Reduces fatigue, stress and increases energy by building mental focus
  3. Develops flexibility, stability and balance of your body
  4. Strengthens thighs, hips and butt
  5. Opens chest, shoulders and front torso
  6. Stretches hip flexors, legs and groin of your body
  7. This pose also helps to relieve Sciatica pain

Precautions

If you have any recent medical concerns, discuss with your doctor before practising this yoga pose. Practitioners suffering from heart problem or high blood pressure shouldn’t practice this pose. People suffering from spinal or knee injury should avoid this pose.

Steps to do a perfect Crescent Lunge

  1. Start by entering to Downward Facing Dog Pose. Exhale and step the right foot forward in between your hands.
  2. Now, bend your front knee to 90 degrees and make sure that your right knee is aligned over the heel of your right foot.
  3. Keep your feet hip-width apart and ensure that both feet are facing forward. Keep your front shin perpendicular to the floor.
  4. Stay on the ball of your back foot and lift the heel. Draw the heel forward so that it will be directly aligned over the back toes.
  5. Now, lift your back leg, bring your knee and quadriceps up towards the ceiling and straighten your back leg.
  6. Draw your left hip forward as you press your right hip back. If you are finding it difficult to keep your back leg raised while placing your toes on the ground, then slowly lower your knee to the ground and slide your leg back as shown in the picture. Rest the top of your back foot on the floor.
  7. Inhale and raise your torso. Lift your arms over your head and draw your tailbone towards the floor.
  8. Open your arms so that the palms can face each other. You can also join your palm to come into Prayer Pose. Now, gaze towards the ceiling and then slowly shift back focus to your palm. This will lengthen your body.
  9. Engage the muscles of your abdomen so that you can stabilize your core and balance your body. Ensure that your front shin is vertical.
  10. Stay in this pose for as long as you feel comfortable. To release, bring your hands back to the mat and return to Downward Facing Dog Pose. Relax and repeat on the other side.

Variations and Modifications

Beginners might find it difficult to practice High Lunge in the initial days. They can practice Low Lunge Pose. To reach in that pose, bring your back knee to the floor and rest your back toes. If you are suffering from a shoulder injury or still in the initial days and struggling to build upper body strength, then place your hands on your hips.

If you have already mastered this pose and now wants to deepen the stretch in the quadriceps, then bend your back knee and draw your toes up towards the ceiling. Reach back and gaze towards your hands.

If you want to improve balance, then start practising this pose facing a wall. Press the big toe of your front foot against the wall and reach your arms up and forward. Rest your fingertips on the wall.

Tips

You must make sure to keep your stomach and bowels empty before you practice this pose. Ensure to have your meals at least four to five hours before you do the asana so that your food gets properly digested, and you can expand your body fully during the practice.

Understand the procedure correctly to reap the benefits of this pose. Ensure that your front knee is aligned with the front ankle. Never allow your knee to move to the left, as this can invite injury to your knee joint. Engage the thigh of your back leg and shift your back heel forward. Ensure that your feet are hip-width apart, this will help to maintain balance.

Preparatory Poses

Downward Facing Dog Pose (Adho Mukha Svanasana)

Wide-Legged Forward Bend (Prasarita Padottanasana)

Hero Pose (Virasana)

Follow Up Poses

Chair Pose (Utkatasana)

Warrior Pose

This pose helps to improve awareness and concentration. Regular practice of this pose will bring physical and mental equilibrium in your life. Now, you know all the benefits and how to do both High Lunge and Low Lunge Pose, then why to wait? Enjoy your Yoga practice and have an awesome day!

How to do Yoga Nidrasana & its Benefits

Yoga Nidrasana

“Yoga takes you into the present moment. The only place where life exists.”

What is your most preferred and performed asana in the yoga session? There are many, isn’t it? Today, we are talking about such a popular yoga posture which is practised by both genders and all age groups. Now, you must be thinking why people practice this pose and what’s the name of this pose? It’s called Yoga Nidrasana or Yogic Sleep Pose.

Yoga-Union/Unity | Nidra-Sleep | Asana-Pose/Posture

This asana is pronounced as Yoga-Nidraasana, Sanskrit- योगनिद्रासन. In this pose, you come to the sleeping position and place both the legs behind your head. The objective of this asana is to deeply stretch your lower back and hamstrings. It requires extreme flexibility in the hips and back of your legs. Interesting, isn’t it?

Level of Asana: Intermediate Series, Ashtanga

Stretches: Legs, hips and spinal muscles

Target areas: Feet, legs, hips, waists, stomach, chest, neck, and hand

Benefits of Yoga Nidrasana

  1. Improves blood circulation of your body and stimulates the central nervous system
  2. Stretches chest, lungs, shoulders, throat, upper and lower back
  3. Stimulates abdominal organs and improves digestion
  4. Strengthens and stretches the bones of the spine
  5. Stretches ligaments in the neck region
  6. Improves spinal flexibility and shape the belly
  7. Creates a better posture and reduces mental stress
  8. Tones adrenal glands, pancreas, kidney and lungs
  9. Provides relief from menopause and menstrual cramping

Precautions

If you have any recent medical concerns, discuss with your doctor before practising this yoga pose. Practitioners suffering from leg, hips, back or waist injury shouldn’t practice this pose. Pregnant women and women having periods should avoid practising this pose. It’s always advisable to practice this pose under the guidance of an expert yoga teacher or ask for your partners help.

Steps to do a perfect Yoga NidrasanaHow to do Yoga Nidrasana.png

  1. Lie on your back in Supine position. Inhale and bring up your left leg.
  2. Hold your left foot with both hands and slowly move the foot behind your head while exhalation.
  3. Now, inhale and bring up the right leg and slowly place it behind the left ankle. Ensure that you are rolling back, and your right leg is behind your head.
  4. Cross the feet one above the other and hold the feet in the middle of toes.
  5. Now, move your shoulders out through legs. Inhale and lengthen your body. While you exhale, reach both your hands behind the back and hold the hands.
  6. Keep breathing gently and stay in this pose for as long as you feel comfortable.
  7. To release from the position, gently move your right leg out and then the left leg.
  8. Now, relax in Savasana or Corpse Pose. Repeat this pose for 2 to 3 times.

Variations and Modifications

Beginners might find it difficult to practise during the initial days. They can take help of their partners or an expert yoga teacher to adjust and practise correctly. Place a rolled blanket beneath your body especially the head to support and avoid injury. To deepen the pose, roll your body while holding both hands behind the back.

Practice Supine Spinal Twist Pose to counteract and rejuvenate your body after practising Yoga Nidrasana.

Tips

You must make sure to keep your stomach and bowels empty before you practice this pose. Ensure to have your meals at least four to five hours before you do the asana so that your food gets properly digested, and you can expand your body fully during the practice.

Ensure to warm up your body mainly the hamstrings, core and hips. When you lift your leg behind your head, ensure that you are doing it carefully and gently, since it may cause injuries to muscles if done incorrectly. Don’t force your body at any stage during the pose. Take your own time. With regular practice, you will gain enough strength and flexibility to master this pose.

Preparatory Poses

Setu Bandhasana

Navasana

Sarvangasana

Follow Up Poses

Supine Spinal Twist Pose

Baddha Konasana

Halasana

Now, you know all the benefits and how to sleep with a yogic posture, then why to wait? Enjoy your Yoga practice and have an awesome day! Practice within your own limits and ability. If you feel this article is helpful to you then share your experience with us by commenting below. We would be happy to hear from you!

“The body is your temple. Keep it pure and clean for the soul to reside in”-

B.K.S Iyengar

How to do Dwi Pada Sirsasana & its Benefits

“Its never too late & you are never too old to start from scratch once again”

Dwi Pada Sirsasana.pngAre you ready to bring one more leg behind your head? Yes, we are talking about putting both your legs behind your head.  This pose is called as Dwi Pada Sirsasana, a complex and advanced sitting yoga pose which requires more flexibility and strength in both your leg and groin muscles.

Dwi-Two | Pada-Foot | Sirsa-Head | Asana-Pose

This asana is pronounced as Dwee-Pada-Shirshasana, Sanskrit- द्विपाद शीर्षासन. This pose is also called as Dwi Pada Greevasan. In this pose, both feet are placed behind the head. Like Eka Pada Sirsasana, this pose too requires a great deal of patience and persistence to bring legs behind your head.  It improves your Kundalini power and provides a better body balance.

Level of Asana: Advanced Series, Ashtanga

Stretches: Legs, Hamstrings and Hips

Target areas: Hips and Groin

Benefits of Dwi Pada Sirsasana

  1. Increases stamina and strength of your body
  2. Provides nourishment to your thighs, knees, legs, palms, back, elbow and arms
  3. Helps to increase the flexibility and elasticity of the body
  4. Open up your hips and stretches your leg
  5. Increases blood flow to your body and improves the level of haemoglobin in the blood.
  6. Eliminates toxins from the body and therapeutic for diabetes patients
  7. A very good pose for controlling your nervous system
  8. Massages solar plexus, adrenal glands and increases vitality
  9. Improves digestion and reproductive system

Precautions

If you have any recent medical concerns, discuss with your doctor before practising this yoga pose. Practitioners suffering from sciatica or spinal problem shouldn’t practice this pose. Pregnant women should avoid practising this pose. Avoid this pose, if you are suffering from knee or hip injury. It’s always advisable to practice this pose under the guidance of an expert yoga teacher.

Steps to do a perfect Dwi Pada Sirsasana

Dwi Pada Srisasana Yoga.png

  1. Start by sitting in a comfortable position with your legs extended in front of you in Dandasana.
  2. Bend the right knee and hold your right foot ankle with the left hand and hug the right shin in towards the chest with the help of your right hand.
  3. Ensure that the ankle and knee are in one line. Now, draw your right knee slightly out towards the right side to create room for the right shoulder to fit underneath.
  4. Move your right leg as high as possible and pull it towards the top of your shoulder. Place the right foot behind the head and rest right leg over the right shoulder.Both legs behind head.png
  5. Now, Slowly place your left leg behind the head and rest it over the left shoulder. Cross both the ankles and lock both feet behind the neck.
  6. Keep both your hands on the floor by the side of your hips and balance the body. Make sure that you are sitting straight and erect. After your body gets balanced, bring both the hands and join the palms to come to the Prayer pose.
  7. Ensure that your palms are touching the chest. Stay in this pose as long as you feel comfortable.
  8. Gently lower your body to the ground and release. Come to Dandasana to relax.
  9. Repeat this pose for 2 to 3 times if you feel comfortable.

Variations and Modifications

It’s a complex and challenging pose for beginners.  This pose demands more flexibility and strength in your legs. The focus is to get both the legs over the neck and place it on shoulders. You need to warm up your body before you attempt this pose. Hugging the shin towards the chest helps to open the hips and hamstrings over the days. You can also practice Half Happy Baby pose to gain flexibility. After you master this pose, deepen the stretch by placing the palms on the sides of hip and lifting your body up into the air.

Practice Supine Spinal Twist Pose to rejuvenate and restore your energy after practising Dwi Pada Sirsasana.

Tips

You must make sure to keep your stomach and bowels empty before you practice this pose. Ensure to have your meals at least four to five hours before you do the asana so that your food gets properly digested, and you can expand your body fully during the practice. It’s advisable to practice this pose in the evening as your body becomes flexible after days work.

Ensure to warm up your body mainly the hamstrings, core and hips. This pose teaches us to listen to our body and you must never force your body at any point during this pose. When you lift your legs behind your head, ensure that you are doing it carefully and gently, since it may cause injuries to muscles if done incorrectly or suddenly. Check whether your leg is flexible enough to place it over the shoulder? Take your own time! With regular practice, you will gain enough strength and flexibility to master this pose.

Preparatory Poses

Hugging the shin towards the chest

Pigeon Pose

Follow Up Poses

Bridge Pose

Camel Pose

Wheel Pose

Supine Spinal Twist

Ready to challenge your body and reap the benefits of this pose! Now, you know all the benefits and how to bring your feet behind your head, then why to wait? Enjoy your Yoga practice and have an awesome day! Remember, never force your body to bring your feet behind the head. Take your own time and practice within your own limits and ability. If you feel this article is helpful to you then share your experience with us by commenting below. We would be happy to hear from you!

“Yoga begins right where I am, not where I was yesterday or where I long to be”- Linda Sparrowe

How to do Eka Pada Sirsasana (Foot Behind Head Pose) & its Benefits

“Yoga means addition – An addition of energy, strength and beauty to body, mind and soul.”- Amit Ray

Eka Pada Sirsasana

Are you ready to stretch your body and practice a fun pose to bring a smile on your face? We are talking about putting your leg behind your head.  This pose is called as Eka Pada Sirsasana. This is an advanced sitting yoga pose which required flexibility and strength in your leg and groin muscles.

Eka-One | Pada-Foot | Sirsa-Head | Asana-Pose

This asana is pronounced as Eka-Pada-Shirshasana, Sanskrit- एकपाद शीर्षासन. In this pose, one foot is placed behind the head. Eka Pada Sirsasana requires a great deal of patience and persistence to bring your leg behind your head.

Level of Asana: Advanced Series, Ashtanga

Stretches: Leg, Hamstrings and Hips

Target areas: Hips and Groin

Benefits of Eka Pada Sirsasana

  1. This asana helps to increase the flexibility of legs
  2. Open up your hips and stretches your back muscles
  3. It massages the side parts of abdomen and tones the sexual organs
  4. Regular and extended period of practice can be therapeutic for varicose veins
  5. Stretches the hips, hamstrings and glutes

Precautions

If you have any recent medical concerns, discuss with your doctor before practising this yoga pose. Practitioners suffering from sciatica shouldn’t practice this pose. Pregnant women should avoid this pose. Practice with caution if you are suffering from knee, hip, back or neck problems. It’s always advisable to practice this pose under the guidance of an expert yoga teacher.

Steps to do a perfect Eka Pada Sirsasana

  1. Start by sitting in a comfortable position with your legs extended in front of you in Dandasana.
  2. Bend the right knee and hold your right foot ankle with the left hand and hug the right shin in towards the chest with the help of your right hand.
  3. Ensure that the ankle and knee are in one line.
  4. Now, draw your right knee slightly out towards the right side to create room for the right shoulder to fit underneath.How to do Eka Pada Sirsasana.png
  5. Move your right leg as high as possible and pull it towards the top of your shoulder.
  6. Now, place the right foot behind the head and rest right leg over the right shoulder.
  7. Adjust your position and make sure that you are sitting straight and erect.
  8. Now, bring both the hands down and join the palms to come to the Prayer pose.
  9. Ensure that your palms are touching the chest.
  10. Stay in this pose as long as you feel comfortable.
  11. Now, release from the pose and come to Dandasana to relax.
  12. Repeat this pose with left leg above the shoulders.

Variations and Modifications

Beginners might find it difficult to practice this pose in the initial days.  This pose demands flexibility and strength in your legs. You need to warm up your body before you attempt this pose. Hugging the shin towards the chest helps to open the hips and hamstrings over the days. You can also practice Half Happy Baby pose to gain flexibility.

Foot over Head PoseAfter you master this pose, deepen the stretch by extending your left leg in front of your body, while your right leg is still behind the head. Inhale and while you exhale, come forward and try to touch the left knee, just like you practice Paschimottanasana.

Practice Supine Spinal Twist Pose to rejuvenate and restore your energy after practising Eka Pada Sirsasana.

Tips

You must make sure to keep your stomach and bowels empty before you practice this pose. Ensure to have your meals at least four to five hours before you do the asana so that your food gets properly digested, and you can expand your body fully during the practice.

Ensure to warm up your body mainly the hamstrings, core and hips. When you lift your leg behind your head, ensure that you are doing it carefully and gently. Otherwise, you may cause injuries to the muscles if done incorrectly or suddenly. Check that your leg is flexible enough to place it over the shoulder? Don’t force your body at any stage during the pose. Take your own time. With regular practice, you will gain enough strength and flexibility to master this pose. Listen to your body.

 

Preparatory Poses

Hugging the shin towards the chest

Pigeon Pose

Follow Up Poses

Bridge Pose

Camel Pose

Wheel Pose

Supine Spinal Twist

Eka Pada Sirsasana is a great way to open your hips. Now, you know all the benefits and how to do foot behind head Pose, then why to wait? Enjoy your Yoga practice and have an awesome day! Remember, never force your body to bring your foot behind the head. Take your own time and practice within your own limits and ability. If you feel this article is helpful to you then share your experience with us by commenting below. We would be happy to hear from you!

“Change is not something that we should fear. Rather, it is something that we should welcome. For without change, nothing in this world would ever grow or blossom, and no one in this world would ever move forward to become the person they’re meant to be.”- B.K.S Iyengar

How to do Upward Plank Pose & its Benefits

Upward Plank PoseLong day work sitting in front of a desktop or driving a long journey to reach your home. These things can actually cause slouching and pain in your spine, isn’t it? Re-balance and stretch the front of your body with regular practice of this amazing pose called Upward Plank Pose, which is also called as Purvottanasana. It is an intermediate back bending pose that helps to build strength and flexibility. This arm stretching pose comes with a lot of benefits starting from improving your inner strength to stretching your body effectively.

Purva-East | Ut-Intense | Tana-Stretch | Asana-Pose

This asana is pronounced as poorvah-uttanah-sanah, Sanskrit- पूर्वोत्तानासन. Purvottanasana means an intense east stretch. Our ancient yogis were always practising yoga facing eastward, as the Sun rises in that direction. That’s the reason, the front side of our body is always considered as “East” side. This pose helps to provide your front body with a beautiful stretch. This asana is also called as Inclines Plank Pose, Reverse Plank Pose and Backbend Pose. Many names, isn’t it interesting?

Level of Asana: Intermediate, Vinyasa

Stretches: Wrists, arms & legs

Target areas: Front ankles, Shoulders & Throat

Benefits of Upward Plank Pose

  1. This asana helps to strengthen your arms, legs, upper backs, triceps, wrists, and glutes
  2. Stretches front of ankles, chest and top of the feet
  3. Improves balance and builds core strength
  4. Stretches and strengthens your shoulders
  5. Therapeutic for fatigue and respiratory function
  6. Releases stress, anxiety, depression and calm the mind
  7. Stretches abdominal organs and intestines
  8. Regular practice of this pose helps to increases the energy level
  9. Stimulates the thyroid glands and keeps you healthy

Precautions

If you have any recent medical concerns, discuss with your doctor before practising this yoga pose. Practice this pose with the use of a chair or wall to support your head, if you have a neck injury. Avoid this pose, if you have a recent or current shoulder injury. It’s strictly a no for practitioners suffering from a wrist injury. It’s always advisable to practice yoga poses within your own ability and limit.

Steps to do a perfect Upward Plank PosePurvottanasana.png

  1. Start by sitting in a comfortable position with your legs extended in front of you and arms resting your sides in Dandasana.
  2. Bring your hands behind your hips and ensure that your fingertips are pointing towards your feet.
  3. Bend your knees, while placing your feet on the floor. Keep your hand shoulder width apart and your feet hip widths apart.
  4. Inhale, press your hands and feet down firmly and lift your hips towards the ceiling.
  5. Your chest must be lifted, and spine must be in one straight line. Ensure that your arms are straightened.
  6. Keep pressing the sole of your feet into the floor, keeping your legs glutes firm and legs straight. Ensure that your buttock is not squeezed.
  7. Slowly release your head, when you feel comfortable. Open your throat, lift your chest up and gaze towards the ceiling.
  8. Stay in this pose as long as you feel comfortable. Now, exhale and slowly lower your hips to the yoga mat to release from this pose.
  9. Sit in Dandasana and relax for few breaths. Repeat this pose for 3 to 4 times.

Variations and Modifications

Beginners might find it difficult to practice this pose in the initial days. They can use a chair for support until they gain enough flexibility and comfort in this pose. Sit at the edge of a chair and wrap your hands around the back. Now, inhale and lift your pelvis and then the legs. Stay in this posture for few breaths and then release. If you don’t have enough strength to keep your legs straight and support your bodyweight, then practice Ardha Purvottanasana. Keep patience and practice it regularly to increase flexibility and gain strength.

After you master this pose, deepen the stretch by practising one-legged Upward Plank Pose. Lift one foot off the floor and reach through the ball of your foot to touch the floor. Ensure to lift the entire leg up towards the ceiling. Now, lower your raised foot and repeat this with the other side.

Tips

You must make sure to keep your stomach and bowels empty before you practice this pose. Ensure to have your meals at least four to five hours before you do the asana so that your food gets properly digested, and you can expand your body fully during the practice.

Keep your shoulders above your wrist and ensure to check your alignment properly. Engage your upper body throughout the pose to lift your body. Ensure to keep your neck long and shoulders away from your ears. Extend your arms and spine.

Preparatory Poses

Dhanurasana

Setu Bandhasana

Sarvangasana

Gomukhasana

Follow Up Poses

Adho Mukha Svanasana

Paschimottanasana

Regular practice of Purvottanasana helps to counteract forward bend poses like Paschimottanasana. Moreover, it’s a wonderful counter pose for strengthening poses like Chaturanga and Plank pose too. This pose helps to prepare you for more back bending postures.

Now, you know all the benefits and how to do Upward Plank Pose, then why to wait? Enjoy your Yoga practice and have an awesome day! More you challenge yourself and practice this pose regularly, you will be able to stretch your body effectively. If you feel this article is helpful to you then share your experience with us by commenting below. We would be happy to hear from you!

How to do Astavakrasana (Eight Angle Pose) and its Benefits

Astavakrasana.png

Astavakrasana, popularly called as Eight Angle Pose is an arm balance pose with lateral twists. When you look at this pose, it seems impossible and hard to practice. It requires core and arm strength, flexibility in your hamstrings, hips and more importantly balances to practice this asana. I too thought that it’s a no for me. But, believe me, when you start practising this pose, this pose will become super easy for you. You just need patience and a yoga mat to start practising this pose.

Ashta-Eight | Vakra-Bent/Curve | Asana-Pose

This asana is pronounced as ahsh-tah-vah-krahs-anna, Sanskrit- अष्टावक्रासन. This pose is dedicated to ancient sage Astavakra who as the spiritual guru of king Janaka. People say that when Astavakra was in his mother’s womb, his father Kagola committed many mistakes while reciting the Vedas. The unborn sage Astavakra once laughed while hearing those Vedas. His father became angry and cursed him to be born as Astavakra. He was born crooked in eight places. These crooks earned him this name as Astavakra.

Level of Asana: Advanced, Ashtanga Yoga

Stretches: Legs, arms and spine

Target areas: Wrists, Arms, and core muscles

Benefits of Eight Angle Pose

  1. This asana tones the spine and supply oxygen-rich blood flow to the spinal nerves
  2. Strengthens the abdominal muscles and improves digestion.
  3. Improves your core strength and provides balance to your body
  4. Stretches legs, arms, shoulders and builds a stable foundation for your body.
  5. Releases stress, builds confidence and concentration.
  6. This pose makes your wrists and arms strong.
  7. Therapeutic for menopause problem and menstrual disorders
  8. Learn how to be patient and surrender yourself for a better cause.

Precautions

If you have any recent medical concerns, discuss with your doctor before practising this yoga pose. It’s advisable to practice this pose under the guidance of an experienced yoga teacher, as you might end up hurting your body, if not done in a right way. Avoid this pose, if you have a recent or current injury in elbows, wrists or shoulders.

Steps to do a perfect Eight Angle Pose

  1. Start by sitting in a comfortable position with your legs extended in front of you.
  2. Now, bend your right knee into your chest and bring the sole of your right foot to the floor. Make sure that its close to your buttock.
  3. Lift your right foot from the floor and bring your shin parallel to the ground.
  4. Place your right arm under your right knee. Bring your right knee on the right arm as high as possible. If possible, bring the knee over the right shoulder.How to do Eight Angle Pose.png
  5. Now, place both the palms on the floor on the higher side of your hips and straighten your left leg. Ensure to spread your fingers.
  6. Press your palms to lift your body which includes your left leg and foot off the floor. Remember your right leg is hugging your right arm.
  7. Bend your lifted left leg and bring the foot toward your body. Now, hook your left ankle with the right ankle.
  8. Now, bend your arms at 90-degrees to shift the weight of your torso forward and towards the floor. Move both your legs to the right so that they can be parallel to the floor.
  9. Make sure to straighten your legs as much as possible and squeeze your right arm. Now, lift your head and gaze towards your front or side. Don’t strain your neck at any moment during the posture.
  10. Your body weight will rest on your palms. Stay in this pose as you feel comfortable and then release and repeat the asana on the other side of your body.

Variations and Modifications

Beginners might find it difficult to balance in this pose. They can use a bolster or the hip of rolled blankets to rest the bottom of their hips and outer legs.  Regular practice will surely increase the flexibility and in the process, you will learn to balance your body.

Tips

You must make sure to keep your stomach and bowels empty before practice this pose. Ensure to have your meals at least four to five hours before you do the asana so that your food gets properly digested, and you can expand your body fully during the practice.

If you can hold Chaturanga Dandasana for 30-45 seconds, then you have a fair chance to practice this asana easily as you have gained the required arm strength to practice this pose. Before jumping into this pose, ensure to warm up your body with preparatory poses to activate your muscles. Don’t be in a hurry. If you are not been able to perform this pose for the first time, then practice Chaturanga Dandasana and other preparatory poses for few days to improve arm balance and strength. Take the challenge and practice regularly.

Preparatory Poses

Uttanasana (Standing Forward Bend)

Kurmasana (Turtle Pose)

Baddha Konasana (Butterfly Pose)

Chaturanga Dandasana

Navasana (Boat Pose)

Follow Up Poses

Bhujapidasana (Shoulder-Pressing Pose)

Now, you know all the benefits and how to do Astavakrasana, then why to wait. Enjoy your Yoga practice and have an awesome day! More you challenge yourself and practice regularly, you will get better and better day by day. If you feel this article is helpful to you then share your experience with us by commenting below. We would be happy to hear from you!

How to do Hanumanasana (Monkey Pose or Splits) and its Benefits

Hanumanasana, popularly called as Splits is an intermediate yoga pose which is all about courage and fearlessness. This pose symbolizes the power of devotion and faith, which we need to bring during the practice. Here, you shouldn’t only stretch your legs, but also bring dedication and devotion to your practice. Splits teaches us to overcome obstacles and do what seems impossible to us at first instance. When I started the practice, it was looking impossible for me. But, today I can practice this beautiful asana with ease.

Hanuman-Monkey | Asana-Pose

This asana is pronounced as hah-NU-mahn-AHS-anna, Sanskrit- हनुमानासन. Hanumanasana is also known as Monkey Pose. Lord Hanuman is a Hindu God who looks like Monkey. In Ramayana, Hanuman (Bajrang Bali) made a giant leap from Southern India to the island of Sri Lanka to rescue Princess Sita.  He is courageous, mischief, bold, and agile. Hanuman reminds us that there is always a hero within each and every one of us.

Level of Asana: Intermediate, Vinyasa Yoga

Stretches: Groin, thighs and Hamstrings

Target areas: Hips, Legs and Abdomen

Benefits of Monkey Pose

  1. This asana stretches and strengthens the thigh muscles, groin region and hamstrings.
  2. Stretches the back muscles and makes them strong.
  3. Releases stress, tension and calm your mind.
  4. Stretches and balances the hip flexors. Prevents lower back pain.
  5. Tones the waist muscles, brings flexibility to hips with regular practice.
  6. Stimulates the abdominal and reproductive organs of your body. Improves the digestive function.

Precautions

If you have any recent medical concerns, discuss with your doctor before practising this yoga pose. It’s advisable to practice this pose under the guidance of an experienced yoga teacher, as you might end up hurting your body, if not done in a right way. Avoid this pose, if you have a recent or current injury in the groin area or hamstring. Practitioners with hip, low back, knee or foot pain may bring modifications to their practice.

Steps to do a perfect Monkey Pose

  1. Start by kneeling on the floor with knees slightly apart.
  2. Now, move your right foot forward and raise the inner sole. Your outer heel must touch the floor.
  3. Now, inhale gently and as you exhale, bend your torso forward and touch the floor with your fingertips.
  4. Move your left knee backward until the knee and front of the foot touch the floor. Simultaneously, slide your right leg forward till it touches the floor completely.Monkey Pose (Splits).png
  5. Ensure that to come into a Split position, you should slide your left foot backwards and front foot (right foot) forward.
  6. Continue to slide the toes of your right foot forward. Ensure that the toes are pointing skywards. Simultaneously, slide your left foot backwards, ensuring that the toes are touching the floor.
  7. Now, raise your arms above your head and join the palms together. Stretch your arms and arch your back until you feel comfortable.
  8. Breathe gently and stay in this position as long as you feel comfortable and ease.
  9. Now, to get released from this pose, shift your body weight on the hands. Press your hands firmly on the floor and slowly slide your left and right foot back until you reach the original position.
  10. Relax for few breaths and then repeat the same procedure with your left leg forward and right leg behind your body.

Variations and Modifications

Splits is not a basic pose, it takes intense dedicated practice to perform Splits. Practitioners who are new to this asana should use a blanket or yoga block under their ankles and knees to make it more comfortable and avoid discomfort and pain. To increase the length of the torso, press your back foot into the floor. When you put pressure on your back foot, your shoulder blades lift and now set them firmly on your back.

If your hamstrings and hips are tight, then place one or two blocks on both sides of your front thigh and place your hands on the block. This will provide you more support and allow you to intense your stretch.

You can deepen this pose, after gaining strength and flexibility. To enter into the advanced pose and increase the stretch, once you split both your legs, stretch your arms up and lean forward. Bend over your front leg and touch your feet. Hold this pose for few breaths, as long as you feel comfortable. Now, inhale and come back to the original position.

Tips

It is an intense leg stretching exercise, thus your leg needs to be more flexible and stretching. Practise basic yoga poses and hip opening poses before you attempt to practise splits.

You must make sure to keep your stomach and bowels empty before you practice this pose. Ensure to have your meals at least four to five hours before you do the asana so that your food gets properly digested, and you can expand your body fully during the practice.

Keep the following points in mind while practising this pose to gain maximum benefits for your mind, body and soul.

  1. When you begin to practice this pose, ensure that your focus should be on the front leg and how tight you feel.
  2. There will be a tendency to stretch your hamstrings as much as you can to get the flexibility. But, you should keep in mind that both your legs should be flexible enough to perform this asana.
  3. Learn to balance both your legs while you split them to touch the floor.
  4. It really doesn’t matter whether your pelvis touches the floor or not, what really matters is how much you can protect your lower back and push as much as you can go.
  5. Never force your body to split, stop when your body asks you to. Otherwise, you may end up with hurting yourself.
  6. Keep breathing throughout the practice to keep yourself engaged and motivated.

You will fail to see yourself in that 180 degrees angle many times during the practice. But, don’t afraid to fail. With every failure, you will learn patience, dedication and a new way to learn and win. Regular practice of this pose will provide you with enough strength and hip flexibility. Remember one thing, never force yourself during splits, as it can harm you. Listen to your body and practise as per your capability.

Preparatory Poses

Baddha Konasana

Virasana

Uttanasana

Supta Virasana

Janu Sirsasana

Follow Up Poses

Paschimottanasana

Upavistha Konasana

Natarajasana

Now, don’t wait. Enjoy your Split practice and have an awesome day! More you devote yourself to the practice, your Split practise will get better and better. Just remember lord Hanuman and his devotion towards the master lord Rama. If you feel this article is helpful to you then share your experience with us by commenting below. We would be happy to hear from you!

How to do Natarajasana (King Dancer Pose) & its Benefits

A powerful balancing pose that strengthens your legs and engages shoulders, chest and abdomen with a full body stretch. Natarajasana is used in Indian classical dances.

Nata-Dance | Raja-King | Asana-Pose

This asana is pronounced as Nut-ah-raj-AHS-anna, Sanskrit- नटराजासन. Natarajasana is also known as Lord of the Dance Pose. Nataraja is another name of Lord Shiva, a dancing avatar. In this avatar, he depicts his art, and love for dance and music. When you do this asana fully and properly, it resembles one of the dancing poses of Lord Shiva.

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Level of Asana: Intermediate with standing backbend (Balancing Pose)

Benefits of King Dancer Pose

  1. This asana helps to improve your digestion and build full body strength.
  2. Strengthens thigh, calf muscles, knees, ankle, hips and spine.
  3. Develops concentration and grace in everyday life.
  4. Opens up your shoulders, chest and hip.
  5. Releases stress, anxiety and calm your mind.
  6. Improves posture and increases the balance of your body.
  7. Stretches shoulders, chest and abdomen.
  8. Increases metabolism and helps to reduce weight.

Precautions

If you have any recent medical concerns, discuss with your doctor before practising this yoga pose. Practitioners who are suffering from low blood pressure, insomnia, dizziness or migraines should not practice this pose. It’s advisable to practice this pose under the guidance of a yoga teacher. Avoid this pose, if you have a recent or current ankle or lower back injury.

Steps to do a perfect King Dancer PoseLord of the Dance Pose.JPG

  1. Begin this pose by standing in Tadasana or Mountain Pose with your arms at your sides and feet together.
  2. While shifting your body weight onto your left foot, bend your right knee and bring your right heel toward your right hip.
  3. Bring your right hand down and clasp with your right foot’s inner ankle.
  4. Beginners can wrap a yoga strap around the top of their right foot and then bend their knee to enter into the pose. They can hold onto the strap with their right hand.
  5. Now, draw your knees together.
  6. Bring your left arm overhead and pointing the fingertips toward the sky/ceiling and facing the palm towards the right.
  7. Now, ensure to look at a fixed point in front of you to concentrate and maintain balance.
  8. Ensure that your left knee and toes are facing forward and straight.
  9. When you feel comfortable and flexible, deepen this pose by pressing your right foot away from your body while leaning your torso slightly forward simultaneously.
  10. Continue to reach your left hand’s fingertips up towards the sky/ceiling.
  11. Try to raise your right foot as high as possible and press your tailbone toward the floor.
  12. Stay in this pose as long as you feel comfortable and balanced.
  13. Now, to release, slowly and gently return to your starting position i.e. Tadasana. Relax for few breaths and repeat the same procedure with the opposite side.

Variation

There are two kinds of variation for practising this pose. The advanced pose requires you to hold the raised foot with both hands overhead. The second one requires holding the lifted leg with one hand and the other hand raised forward.Natarajasana.JPG

Beginners might find it difficult to hold on the ankle of the raised leg as shown in the figure. If you face the same challenge, then use a strap. Wrap a yoga strap around the top of your foot and then bend your knee and enter into the pose. Hold onto both ends of the strap with your same side while you stay in this pose. Beginners who are new to this pose should practise standing thigh stretch to gain strength and flexibility. You can also rest your free hand on a wall, chair or any object which is stable to maintain balance.

You can deepen this pose, after gaining strength and flexibility. To enter into the advanced pose, hold your outer ankle with your opposite hand. As shown in the figure, if your left ankle is raised, reach your right hand behind your body and hold onto your left foot’s outer ankle. Now, you can raise your opposite arm forward and higher up.

Tips

You must make sure to keep your stomach and bowels empty before you practice this pose. Ensure to have your meals at least four to five hours before you do the asana so that your food gets properly digested, and you can expand your body fully during the practice.

Keep the following points in mind while practising this pose to gain maximum benefits for your mind, body and soul.

  1. While you enter into this pose fully, keep your gaze fixed on a fixed point in front of you to increase concentration and balance of your body.
  2. Ensure that your knee and the toes of your standing leg are facing forward and straight.
  3. Firm the muscles of your standing leg and resist the calf muscles against the shin. This movement will help to stabilize your lower leg.
  4. Your bent knee shouldn’t splay open to the sides. The neck should be relaxed, reach forward through the crown of your head.
  5. Ensure to keep your movement slow, steady and smooth. Don’t force or push any movement in this pose. This will only reach you in an injured state.
  6. The most important part is to keep breathing throughout the pose and never hold your breath.

You will fall many times during this pose. But, don’t afraid to fall. With every fall and failure, you will learn patience, calmness and a new way to learn and win. Regular practice of this pose will provide you strength to fight challenges in life and rejuvenate your body, mind and soul.

Now, don’t wait. Enjoy your yoga practice and have an awesome day! If you feel this article is helpful to you then share your experience with us by commenting below. We would be happy to hear from you!

How to do Extended Side Angle Pose & its Benefits

Every pregnant lady wants to make their childbirth pain-free and smoother.  Regular practice of yoga plays a crucial role to achieve that objective. Today, we are talking about a yoga pose which helps to reduce swelling in the feet of pregnant women in their last trimester of pregnancy and also helps in childbirth. This pose is called as Uthhita Parsvakonasana.

Utthita – Extended | Parsva – Side | Kona – Angle | Asana – Pose

This asana is pronounced as oo-TEE-tah parsh-vah-cone-AHS-anna, Sanskrit- उत्थित पार्श्वकोणासन. This is a beginner pose and helps to build strength throughout the body. It prepares your body for the deeper groin and leg stretches. Remember to practise this asana at the beginning or middle of the standing yoga sequences.

Benefits of Extended Side Angle Pose

  • This pose helps to increase the stamina of body
  • Helps to improve blood circulation, stimulates and tones the abdominal muscles
  • Stretches chest, groins, waist, spine, lungs, hamstrings and shoulders
  • Strengthens the ankles, knees, and legs
  • Relieves stiffness in the shoulders and back
  • Helpful during pregnancy and childbirth
  • Therapeutic for insomnia, constipation, infertility, sciatica, lower backache and menstrual discomforts

Precautions & Contradictions

Discuss with your doctor before practising this yoga pose, if you have any recent or current medical concerns. Practitioners suffering from headaches, insomnia or high or low blood pressure should avoid this pose.   Those who are suffering from a neck problem, shouldn’t turn their head upward, rather they should face either straight or down.

Steps to do a perfect Extended Side Angle Pose

  • Stand straight facing the long side of your mat. Your feet must be legs distance apart. Ensure that your heels are in line with each other.
  • Keep your left foot toes at 45-degree angle and turn right foot toes towards the short edge of the mat.
  • Now, inhale and while you exhale, bend your right knee until your thigh is parallel to the floor.

    Extended Side Angle Pose.JPG
    Photo Credit: Yoga International
  • Keep your right knee directly over your heel. Turn your left toes slightly.
  • Ensure to align the arch of your left foot with the heel of your right foot. The back leg should be straight.
  • Inhale and strengthen your lower belly, so that it will get strengthened and pulled in.
  • Now, exhale and stretch your body over the right leg and bring your right arm down.
  • Place your right hand on the floor, outside the right foot. Beginners can place the right-hand elbow on the right thigh.
  • Now, extend your left arm up towards the ceiling and then extend it over the top of your head ensuring your arm is placed just above the left ear.
  • Keep your chest, hips, and legs in a straight line.
  • Now, press the outside of the left foot firmly on the floor, and move the right side of your buttock towards your body.
  • There will be a single extension from back heel to the extended arm.
  • Turn your head towards the left arm, rotate your chest and abdomen towards the ceiling.
  • Do not put dead weight on the bent It may strain your knee joint.
  • Now, expand the thoracic chest and hold the pose as long as you feel comfortable.
  • To release, press firmly through your back foot and slowly come to the standing pose as you exhale. Ensure to extend your arm at shoulder height and turn your feet and body so that they face the same direction.
  • Relax for a few breaths and repeat the pose on the other side (left).

Variations

This is a great pose to build strength while preparing yourself for a deeper stretch. But, beginners might find it difficult to stay in correct alignment and balance. Including few variations and modifications can make their practise easier.

Beginners might find it difficult to touch their front fingertips on the ground. In this case, either you can bring your forearm to your front thigh or rest your hand on a yoga block. If its difficult to keep your back heel on the floor, then practice with your back heel against a wall. Here, as you bend your front knee during the pose, imagine that you are pressing the wall away from you with your back heel.

If you feel that your hips are too tight, then shorten your stance and straighten your front leg to feel comfortable. But, if your hips are flexible, then ensure that your front shin stays vertical. Widen your stance as per requirement to ensure that your knee does not move forward past your ankle.

Tips

Ensure to keep your stomach empty before you practice this pose. Have your meals at least four to five hours before you practice this pose so that you can expand your body fully during the practice. It is important to practice this asana with correct alignment to gain benefits. Few tips can be very handy while practising this pose.

Ensure to keep the outer edge of your back foot pressing firmly into the mat. Keep your back baby toe on the mat. Correct your foot and leg placement, keep your front knee aligned with your front heel. Do not move your knee inward, this can bring injury to your knee joint.

The key to this beautiful asana is in the breathing. You must use the breathing to open up your chest and deepen your inhalations as you relax while exhaling. The regular practice of this asana builds your stamina and help you fight any kind of pain and disease.

Always remember that Yoga is a journey and not a destination. You should always enjoy the journey while being patient and dedicated. Practice this pose slowly, maintain the correct alignment and balance and over the time you will be blessed with a disease-free body. You just need a yoga mat and lots of willing power to start this asana!

Now, don’t wait. Enjoy your yoga practice and have an awesome day! If you feel this article is helpful to you then share your experience with us by commenting below. We would be happy to hear from you!

 

Standing Hand to Big Toe Pose

How to do Standing Hand to Big Toe Pose & its Benefits

A standing Pose that can stretch your legs, challenge your concentration power, patience and boost your balance! We are talking about such a deep stretch pose today. This asana is known as Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana, which stretches your hamstrings and strengthens your ankles and leg.

Utthita – Extended | Hasta – Hand | Pada – Foot | Angusta – Big Toe | Asana-Pose

This asana is pronounced as oo-TEE-tah HAHS-tuh pahd-ahng-goosh-TAHS-uh-nah, Sanskrit- उत्थित हस्त पादांगुष्ठासन. Practice warm-up exercises of the whole body before you attempt this pose. This pose involves deep stretch and if you have tight hamstrings then this pose may seem difficult. But, with regular practice and patience, you can master this pose.

Benefits of Standing Hand to Big Toe Pose

  • This pose helps to improve your sense of balance, concentration and focus
  • Opens up the hips, arms, and shoulders and stretches the hamstrings
  • Strengthens legs and ankles and makes them strong
  • Releases stress, anxiety, and calms your mind

Precautions

If you have any recent medical concerns, discuss with your doctor before practising this yoga pose. Practitioners who have recent or current low back injury or ankle problem should avoid this pose. It is always advisable to attempt this pose under the guidance of an experienced Yoga teacher.

Steps to do a perfect Standing Hand to Big Toe Pose

  • Begin in standing position with your feet together and arms at your sides.Standing Hand to Big Toe Pose.JPG
  • Inhale deeply and while you exhale, shift your weight to your left foot and lift your right knee up.
  • Now, bring your right hand to the inside of your leg to touch the big toe.
  • Fold your thumb and hold your big toe with your thumb and middle finger.
  • Ensure that your spine is straight and the upper thigh of the standing leg pressing back.
  • With the continuous inhalation extend your right leg out to the front and straighten as much as possible. Hold there for few breaths.
  • Keep your shoulders back, chest wide open, both hips on the same line and spine straight.
  • Hold there for few breaths, as long as you feel comfortable.
  • To release, draw back your right knee back to your chest and slowly lower your foot to the ground.
  • Relax and repeat the same procedure on the left-hand side.

Variation

Beginners might find it difficult to touch the big toe in initial days. If you are not able to touch the toes of your raised leg, then practice standing knee hug until you gain enough flexibility to practice the full pose. Moreover, you can also use a yoga strap around the ball of your foot to straighten your lifted leg. Hold the strap in that same side hand and straighten your leg to stay in the full pose.

As you gain flexibility and strength in this pose, variations can be practised. You can press the raised foot against the wall or can rest it along the top edge of a chair or table.

For a deeper stretch, when you feel balanced, inhale and bring your extended leg out to the side.

Tips

Ensure to keep your stomach empty before you practice this pose. Have your meals at least four to five hours before you practice this pose so that you can expand your body fully during the practice.

Ensure to keep your spine straight throughout the pose. Don’t force your body to master this pose. Instead, use a strap to bring necessary adjustments.

Always remember that Yoga is a journey and not a destination. You should always enjoy the journey while being patient and dedicated. This asana involves a mental and physical challenge. You just need a yoga mat and lots of willing power to start this asana!

Now, don’t wait. Enjoy your yoga practice and have an awesome day! If you feel this article is helpful to you then share your experience with us by commenting below. We would be happy to hear from you!

 

Janu Sirsasana

How to do Janu Sirsasana (Head to Knee Pose) & its Benefits

Are you suffering from depression, stress or anxiety in life? If yes, then this is the perfect pose for you. Janu Sirsasana is a seated deep forward bend pose in primary series of Ashtanga Yoga that helps to relax your mind and calm your brain. In this pose, your head touches the knee in full pose. Janu Sirsasana is also known as Head to Knee pose. But, it has nothing to do with Sirsasana or Headstand. (Featured Photo Credit: Kreg Weiss)

Janu – Knee | Sirsa – Head | Asana-Pose

This asana is pronounced as JAH-new shear-SHAHS-anna, Sanskrit- जानु शीर्षासन. Regular practice will bring necessary flexibility to your body to master this pose. This asana can bring a deep stretch to your hamstring muscles and groins if your practice it correctly. This is a challenging pose especially for men to touch their head to knee and touch their foot, but at the same time, it also teaches you to be patient and dedicated.

Benefits of Head to Knee Pose

  • This pose helps to release stress, depression, and calm your mind
  • Regular practice of this pose helps to relieve a headache, fatigue, and anxiety
  • Stimulates and massages the kidneys and liver
  • Increases flexibility of hamstring muscles, arms, back, thighs, and shoulders
  • Therapeutic for insomnia and high blood pressure
  • Strengthens your stomach organs and improves digestion
  • Improves the function of reproductive organs and relieves menstrual discomforts

Precautions

If you have any recent medical concerns, discuss with your doctor before practising this yoga pose. Practitioners who are suffering from asthma, spondylosis, heart disease, lumbar disc herniation or diarrhea should avoid this pose. Practice this pose under the guidance of an experienced Yoga teacher if you are suffering from serious back or knee injury.

Steps to do a perfect Head to Knee Pose

Janu Sirsasana
Photo Credit: Get Muscularity

  • Start this pose by sitting on the floor with your spine erect.
  • Stretch your right leg in front of you and bend your left leg.
  • Ensure to place your sole of left leg on the inside of your right thigh.
  • Inhale and lift both your hands. Now exhale, bend forward and bring your head to right knee.
  • Hold the toe of your right leg firmly with both your hands and gaze towards the ceiling.
  • Stay in this pose for as long as you feel comfortable and breathe gently.
  • With each inhalation, lengthen the front torso and with each exhalation bend further.
  • To release the pose, inhale, lift your torso and raise your both hands.
  • Now exhale, extend your left leg and bring your arms down to the sides.
  • Relax and repeat the same procedure while stretching your left leg.

Variation

Beginners who have tight hamstrings can place rolled blanket beneath the knee of their extended leg to feel more comfortable. Those who cannot touch their foot or toe of their extended leg can use a strap. You can wrap the strap around the sole of your foot and hold to bend forward more easily.

Those who want to deepen the pose, can place a block at the sole of their foot and clasp their hands to deepen the stretch.

Tips

You must ensure to keep your stomach and bowels empty before you practice this pose. Ensure to have your meals at least four to five hours before you do the asanas so that your food gets properly digested, and you can expand your body fully during the practice.

Make sure that you are folding from your hips and not from the waist. If you cannot touch your head to the knee in the beginning, then it’s absolutely alright. Ensure that the front of your torso stays long during the pose.

Never force your body, to master this pose. Always remember that Yoga is a journey and not a destination. You should always enjoy the journey while being patient and dedicated.

Now, don’t wait. Enjoy your yoga practice and have an awesome day! If you feel this article is helpful to you then share your experience with us by commenting below. We would be happy to hear from you!

Chaturanga Dandasana

How to Do Chaturanga Dandasana the Right Way

Chaturanga to build your core stamina

Who doesn’t want to build muscles and tone their arms and core? You must have done Push-ups or Plank Pose in the Gym to achieve this objective. But how about bringing some variations into this pose. We are talking about Chaturanga Dandasana. In this asana, your straight body becomes parallel to the ground, supported by your palms and toes, while your elbows placing at a right angle.

Chatur-Four | Anga- Limbs | Danda-Staff | Asana-Pose

This asana is pronounced as chaht-tour-ANG-ah don-DAHS-anna, Sanskrit- चतुरंग दंडासन. Chaturanga Dandasana is also known as Four-Limbed Staff Pose or Low Plank. In Vinyasa yoga styles, this asana is a part of the Sun Salutations or Surya Namaskar A and B. (Featured Photo Credit: Joshna Ramakrishnan)

Benefits of Four-Limbed Staff Pose

  • Increase stamina, makes your body more flexible and improves your posture.
  • Strengthens and tones the arms, leg muscles, wrists, and lower back.
  • The core stability of your body gets improved.
  • Builds muscles in your back, arms and shoulders.
  • Prepares your body for arm balances and inversions.
  • Tones your abdominal muscles and builds strength.

Precautions

If you have any recent medical concerns, discuss with your doctor before practising this yoga pose. Practitioners who are suffering from Carpal tunnel syndrome, wrist or shoulder injury, and lower back injury should not practice this pose. Women should avoid this pose during pregnancy.

Steps to do a perfect Four-Limbed Staff Pose

  • First, start from the Plank pose while Keeping your arms fully extended and spine completely erect. Palms are resting on your yoga mat.
  • Lift your body through the chest and keep your shoulders in line with your elbows. Ensure not to let your chest drop towards the floor.
  • Engage your leg and abdominal muscles. Now, exhale and bend your elbows while keeping down your lower body towards the ground but not touching it, few inches away from the ground.

    How to do Chaturanga
    Photo Credit: Radiance Yoga
  • Keep your body parallel to the ground and ensure to maintain your hips straight. Turn your legs inward.
  • Keep wide space between your shoulder blades. Your elbows need not be spread outwards but rather be pushed back downwards towards the heel. The tips of your elbows must slightly touch the sides of your ribs as you lower yourself to maintain the 90-degree angle.
  • Ensure that your neck is aligned straight with the rest of body and press your palm fingers firmly to the ground.
  • Stay in this position for around 30 to 60 seconds and then exhale and rest gently on the floor.
  • Repeat this procedure for 3-4 times.
  • From this asana, you can move into the Plank Pose or Downward Facing Dog pose.

Variation

Chaturanga Dandasana is an excellent asana to improve your core stability, but it takes time to gain that strength to hold the pose for more than two to three breaths. Remember, yoga is just a journey and you should not force your body to learn it fast and quickly. You might end up injuring your body itself.

Practitioners who are beginners and have not build up enough strength to fully support their body can practise Half Chaturanga where they need to touch their knee on the mat rather than keeping it parallel to the ground. You can also practise Ashtanga Namaskar until you have built up enough strength to practice Half Chaturanga.

How to do Half Chaturanga
Photo Credit: Yoga.com

Advanced practitioners can bring variations into this asana to experience more challenge. While you are in Chaturanga, keep one foot on the floor and raise the other leg parallel to the floor.

Tips

You must make sure to keep your stomach and bowels empty before you practice this pose. Ensure to have your meals at least four to five hours before you do the asana so that your food gets properly digested, and you can expand your body fully during the practice.

The Four-Limbed Staff Pose is particularly dedicated to the primary support of your body which is called as a spine. Though this pose looks like a fitness based Push-up, there are a variety of differences between the two. You need to practise this pose with correct alignment, patience and dedication. Keep some useful tips in your mind while you practise this asana to enjoy an injury-free journey to build your strength and core stamina.

  • Beginners should start practising this pose under the guidance of a yoga expert to avoid injury and better their alignment.
  • Ensure to create a perfect 90-degree angle with your upper arm and forearm.
  • Do not let the shoulders drop below the height of your elbows. Keep it on the line or above.
  • Do not sag or drop your chest towards the floor.
  • This pose requires your patience and willingness. Never put your muscular force to stay in this pose for a long time. Go with the flow and focus on the present moment.

Now, don’t wait. Enjoy your yoga practice and have an awesome day! If you feel this article is helpful to you then share your experience with us by commenting below. We would be happy to hear from you!

 

How to do Lion Pose

How to do Simhasana (Lion Pose) & it’s Benefits

W
e face many problems in our daily lives which lead to frustration, anger and stress. The ancient yogis formulated a beautiful yoga pose to throw out that negative energy from our life. We are talking about the Lion Pose. This pose helps to release that frustration which is created by the self, due to the accumulated negative energy.

Simha-Lion | Asana-Pose

This asana is pronounced as sim-HAHS-anna, Sanskrit- सिंहासन. In this posture, the body and face invoke the force and intensity of a lion’s roar. This is regarded as one of the best face exercises. This pose also stimulates the platysma which is a thin, rectangular shaped muscle in front of the throat. Moreover, it also helps to clear the passage of the throat.

Benefits of Lion Pose

  • This pose helps to improve the tone and texture of the voice.
  • Reduces tension in the chest and face.
  • Stimulates the platysma and keeps the muscle firm as you continue to age.
  • Improve blood circulation to the face.
  • Reduces bad breath, wrinkles and delays ageing.
  • Relaxes your neck muscles and relieves burning eyes.
  • Cures back pains, clenched jaws and teeth grinding.
  • Activates the bandhas and destroys the diseases.
  • Stimulate the nerves of the eye and keeps your eyes healthy.
  • Different parts of the body e.g. face, eyes, ears, tongue, throat, chest and fingers get benefitted.
  • Helps to exercise the tongue during the posture because of the full stretch outside the mouth.

Precautions

If you have any recent medical concerns, discuss with your doctor before practising this yoga pose. Practitioners who have a knee injury, should sit on a chair and practice this pose. This pose is very safe to practice.

Steps to do a perfect Lion Pose

  • Sit up in the kneeling position or Vajrasana. Move your knees apart so that they can make a right angle between them.
  • Now, place your palms under your thighs. The palms should face downward while pressing firmly against your yoga mat. Ensure that the palms are pointed towards your body.
  • You can also just sit in Vajrasana and rest your palms on the knees while the knees are stretched and wide apart.

Simhasana.jpg
Photo Credit: idyaz

  • Bend forward and shift the weight of your body on arms.
  • Now, keeping your eyes open, tilt your head backwards.
  • Inhale through the nose and open your mouth, and stretch out your tongue outwards. Curl the tip of the tongue towards the chin.
  • Gaze the space between your eyebrows while keeping your eyes open.
  • Breathe gently and during exhalation produce ‘ha’ sound. This sound will imitate the breathing of a lion with the tongue outside.
  • Relax your body and repeat the sound few times. 

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Variation

If you are feeling uncomfortable sitting on the floor due to a knee injury, then practise this pose on the chair. You can also practise this pose in Cow pose while making the same ‘ha’ sound. Sometimes, instead of looking through the eyebrows, you can also look at the tip of your nose.

Tips

You must make sure to keep your stomach and bowels empty before you practice this pose. Ensure to have your meals at least four to five hours before you do the asana so that your food gets properly digested, and you can expand your body fully during the practice.

In this pose, the arms and shoulders are thrown outside violently, as an external manifestation of the release of stress, anxiety, fear, anger and the negative energy we accumulate from our daily chaos. This asana is a secret to your glowing skin and youthful life.

Now, don’t wait. Enjoy your yoga practice and have an awesome day! If you feel this article is helpful to you then share your experience with us by commenting below. We would be happy to hear from you!

How to Supine Spinal Twist Pose

How to do Supta Matsyendrasana (Supine Spinal Twist)

A powerful reclining twist Pose which provides various benefits for the entire body. When we twist our body in this pose, it increases the flexibility of our spine, tones the abdominal organs and improves the digestion. The Supine Spinal Twist Pose is a restorative beginner pose which helps to relax your mind and body.

Supta-Reclining | Matsyendra-King of the fish | Asana-Pose

This asana is pronounced as SOOP-tah MAT-see-en-DRAHS-anna, Sanskrit- सुप्तर्मत्स्येन्द्रासन. The Supta Matsyendrasana is also known as the Supine Twist Pose, the Reclining Twist Pose, the Reclining Lord of the Fish Pose, and the Jathara Parivartanasana.

Benefits of Supine Spinal Twist Pose

  • This pose stretches your shoulders, chest, hips, spine, lower back, and upper back.
  • Stretches spine, vertebrae and makes them flexible.
  • Relieves stiffness in your spine, hips and lower back.
  • Releases stress, anxiety, depression and calm your mind.
  • Massages the back, hips and stretches the back muscles and glutes.
  • Massages and strengthens the abdominal organs.
  • The twist increases the blood flow to your digestive organs and improves the digestion.

Precautions

If you have any recent medical concerns, discuss with your doctor before practising this yoga pose. Practitioners who have recent or current knee or hip injury, lower back problem, internal organ surgery should not practice this pose. It’s advisable to practice this pose under the guidance of an experienced yoga teacher if you are suffering from back pain, back injury or degenerative disk disease. Women should practise this pose under the guidance of an expert during pregnancy.

Steps to do a perfect Supine Spinal Twist Pose

  • Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the yoga mat. Rest your arms at your sides.
  • While you exhale, gently press your lower back on the floor.
  • If you need extra neck support, use pillows or rolled blanket to rest your head.
  • Contract your abdominal muscles, bend your knees while you inhale and lift your feet off the floor.

Supine Spinal Twist Pose

  • Now, exhale and stretch out your arms to the side so that they can create a straight line with your shoulders. Place your palms facing downward, so that they can provide you with the extra support.
  • Continue to support your spine with your core muscles. Now, bring your feet and knees together.
  • Inhale and lift your heels slightly higher than your knees.
  • Exhale and lower both your legs to the left of the floor. Ensure that your knees and feet are stacked. Make sure that your knees should be at the level of your hips and heels resting about a foot away from buttocks.
  • Breathe slowly and turn your head to the right. Maintain a twist in your upper spine while rooting down your right shoulder. Hold this pose for few breaths.
  • Now, to release this posture, press both your hands to the floor and contract your abdominal muscles.
  • As you inhale lift your knees and feet over your chest. Hold your knees with both hands.
  • Exhale, pull your thighs to your chest, and lift your head and chest to your thighs. Ensure not to lift your shoulders as you raise your head.
  • Now, lower your shoulders and head to the floor. Contract your abdominal muscles. Stretch out your arms and repeat the same procedure on the other side.

Variation

Beginners might find it difficult stack their legs in this pose. Ensure to stretch your top knee only as much as you can. Don’t force your body at any moment to perfect this pose.  You could use a pillow or bolster to support your knee.

Variation_Supine Spinal Twist Pose

After you mastered the basic pose, then increase the stretch in your hips with some variation. Cross your right knee over your left knee and wrap your right foot around the left calf muscles. This will reflect the pose of Garudasana. Now, shift your hips slightly to the right and drop your knees to the left. Bring your legs back to the center and repeat the same procedure on the other side.

Tips

You must make sure to keep your stomach and bowels empty before you practice this pose. Ensure to have your meals at least four to five hours before you do the asana so that your food gets properly digested, and you can expand your body fully during the practice.

Women should use pillows between their knees to be more comfortable during the pregnancy. To make this pose more relaxing you can use Yoga blocks to rest your top knee and top foot. In addition, place a folded blanket between your legs or rest your top knee or leg on a bolster or pillow. Relax your shoulders away from your ears and try to keep both shoulder blades on the floor. Rest the opposite hand on your top knee to gently add more weight. During the posture, take deep breaths and ensure not to hold your breath.

Twists are a great way to stimulate your abdominal muscles and reduce the stress, anxiety and improve your mood. Moreover, it is also a great pose to restore your balance. Now, since you know the steps and benefits of this pose, don’t wait. Enjoy your yoga practice and have an awesome day! If you feel this article is helpful to you then share your experience with us by commenting below. We would be happy to hear from you!

How to do Plank Pose & it’s Benefits

An arm balancing Pose that helps to tone your abdominal muscles and strengthening your arms and spine muscles. Plank Pose helps to build determination and patience. Ensure to hold your breath during this posture, before you lower your body.

Kumbhak-Breath Retention | Asana-Pose

This asana is pronounced as koom-bahk-ash-uh-nuh, Sanskrit- कुंभकासन. Plank Pose is also known as Phalakasana. In this pose, you engage your core and hold yourself at the top of push up which helps you to tone your arms and shoulders. This is one of the essential pose of Surya Namaskar or Sun Salutation and often used as a transitional Pose.

Benefits of Plank Pose

  • This pose tones all the core muscles of your body namely abdomen, lower back and chest.
  • Improves posture by strengthening the muscles of your spine.
  • Regular practice of this pose builds the core strength, stamina and endurance.
  • Strengthens the arms, shoulders and wrists.
  • Prepares your body for other arm balancing Poses.
  • Improves flexibility in your feet.

Precautions

If you have any recent medical concerns, discuss with your doctor before practising this yoga pose. Practitioners who are suffering from low or high blood pressure, arm or wrist injury, leg injury should avoid practising this pose. Do not practice this pose, if you have Carpal tunnel syndrome or osteoporosis disease.

Steps to do a perfect Plank Pose

  • Begin on your hands and knees with your arms straight and hands placed on the yoga mat directly under your shoulders.
  • Keep your fingers wide and toes pressed towards the ground. Ensure to keep your arms in a straight line.

Plank Pose

  • Now, inhale and push up your body by lifting your knees. You are resting on your hands and the balls of your feet.
  • Keep your back straight and ensure to keep your backbone, hip and head must be in a line.
  • Your fingers must grip the mat while shoulders will be straight as you keep your chest forward.
  • Keep your core muscles (abs) engaged by bringing your belly button in.
  • Hold this posture for as long as you feel comfortable. Release and relax in Child’s Pose.
  • Repeat this procedure for 2 to 3 times.

Variation

If your abdominals or arms are not strong enough to support your full body, then you can lower your knees to the floor. This is called Half Plank Pose. Ensure to keep your spine, head and hip in a straight line.

After you master the basic pose, you can bring some variations into the posture. Lift your one foot off the floor while keeping the leg straight. Repeat the same with your opposite leg. You can also practise core planks by bringing your left leg to the chest and then to the left upper arm. Repeat the same procedure on each side.

If your wrists get sore or you feel pain in your wrists, then roll your yoga mat or place a rolled blanket to press the base of your palms firmly.

Tips

You must make sure to keep your stomach and bowels empty before you practice this pose. Ensure to have your meals at least four to five hours before you do the asana so that your food gets properly digested, and you can expand your body fully during the practice.

Ensure to keep your body in a straight line from your head to heels.  Do not keep your hips or butt too low or too high.

Beginners might find it difficult to hold the Plank Pose for more than two or three breath, but with regular practice, it can provide you with amazing benefits like improve in core muscle strength, concentration and mental strength. Don’t over-stress your arms and shoulders. Yoga is a journey and you should enjoy it instead of moving fast. When you hold the breath for more than 30 seconds, it helps to tone the nervous system.

Regular practice of Plank Pose will strengthen both your arms and core muscles. Now, don’t wait. Enjoy your yoga practice and have an awesome day! If you feel this article is helpful to you then share your experience with us by commenting below. We would be happy to hear from you!

How to do Dandasana (Staff Pose) & it’s Benefits

An easy seated Posture which helps to prepare you for more intense yoga poses. This is widely accepted as a basic posture for all other seated asanas and unarguably the seated version of Tadasana or Mountain Pose.

Danda-Stick | Asana-Pose

This asana is pronounced as dahn-dah-sah-nah, Sanskrit- दण्डासन. Dandasana is popularly known as Staff Pose. Regular practice of this pose will help to gain postural awareness and balance in your life. Once you master this pose, you will find yourself walking taller throughout your day and it will certainly help you in your older ages.

Benefits of Staff Pose

  • This pose helps to improve your body posture and alignment.
  • Therapeutic for asthma and sciatica.
  • Strengthens the shoulders, back muscles, spine, chest and abdomen.
  • Relieves stress, anxiety, depression and calms your mind.
  • Increases the flexibility of hips and pelvis.
  • Stimulates your abdomen and helps to reduce belly fat.
  • Teaches you to sit correctly.

Precautions

If you have any recent medical concerns, discuss with your doctor before practising this yoga pose. Practitioners who are suffering from spine problem, lower back or wrist injury should avoid this pose.

Steps to do a perfect Staff Pose

  • Sit erect on the yoga mat with the legs stretched out, keeping the feet together and pointed upwards.Staff Pose.jpg
  • Press your buttock on the floor and ensure that your crown of the head faces the ceiling while pressing your heel to the ground flex your feet.
  • Now, place your palms beside your hips on the floor. This will help to relax your shoulders and supports your spine.
  • Take deep breaths and relax your body while ensuring that the lower part of your body is grounded firmly to the floor.
  • Hold this position for few breaths. Release and relax.
  • Repeat the same procedure for 3 to 4 repetitions.

Variation

If your hamstrings are tight and you find it difficult to sit with your legs stretched out, then prop yourself up on a folded blanket underneath your buttocks. This will help to remove the tension from your hips and legs and you will feel more comfortable and relax during the posture.

For practitioners having long arms, it is perfect to bend your arms at your elbows, if you are unable to straighten them fully. Just ensure to place your palms flat on the floor and release your shoulder blades down to your back.

You can take the support of a wall while practising this posture if your abdomen and upper back are weak. People suffering from tight wrist or forearms or Carpal Tunnel syndrome should keep their fingers pointing behind them. Ensure to place your palms on the floor and rotate your arms so that your fingers will be pointed towards your back. By doing this, you can open up your upper arm and chest muscles.

Tips

You must make sure to keep your stomach and bowels empty before you practice this pose. Ensure to have your meals at least four to five hours before you do the asana so that your food gets properly digested, and you can expand your body fully during the practice.

Your hips, shoulders and ears must be in one line. Your weight must be balanced between your buttocks. Ensure that your tailbone and pubic bone are at equidistant from the floor. Press your thighs down to the floor and hands are pressing firmly into the mat.

Now, don’t wait. Enjoy your yoga practice and have an awesome day! If you feel this article is helpful to you then share your experience with us by commenting below. We would be happy to hear from you!

 

How to do Gomukhasana (Cow Face Pose) & Benefits

A seated hand twisting yoga Pose which provides various benefits for the entire body starting from stretching your shoulders and back to calming your mind and relaxing your body.

Go-Cow | Mukh-Face | Asana-Pose

This asana is pronounced as go-moo-KAHS-anna, Sanskrit- गोमुखासन. When you enter into this pose fully, it resembles a cow’s face. Your body’s torso creates the length of the cow’s nose whereas the crossed legs create the cow’s snout and mouth, and the arms create the cow’s ears. Regular practice of this pose helps to discover your body imbalances and regain the equilibrium.

Benefits of Cow Face Pose

  • Removes stiffness in your shoulders and reduces back pain.
  • Stimulates the kidneys and helps people suffering from diabetes.
  • Develops the chest muscles and makes your back flexible and more elastic.
  • Therapeutic for sciatica and sexual ailments.
  • Reduces stress, anxiety, depression and calms your mind.

Precautions

If you have any recent medical concerns, discuss with your doctor before practising this yoga pose. Practitioners who have current or recent shoulder or knee injury should not practice this pose. People suffering from shoulder or neck problem should avoid this pose.

Steps to do a perfect Cow Face Pose

  • Sit erect on the yoga mat with your legs stretched out in front of your body.
  • Now, fold your left leg and place it under your right buttock.

Gomukhasana.jpg

  • Bend your right leg and place it over the left thigh.
  • Ensure to place both your knees close to each other while one knee is above the other.
  • Now, bend your left arm and place it behind your back.
  • Bend your right arm and take it over your right shoulder. Stretch it as much as you can to lock it with your left hand.
  • Keep your body straight. While expanding your chest, pull your head slightly back.
  • Hold this pose for few breaths as long as you feel comfortable. While staying in this posture, take long deep breaths and relax.
  • Now, release, relax and repeat with another side for 2 to 3 times.

Variation

If you are finding it difficult to lock the fingers together, then use a yoga strap between your hands. Keep your hands about half feet apart. Regular practice will bring the required flexibility to bring your hands together and lock them.

If your hips are too tight, then don’t sit flat on the mat. Use a rolled blanket, a pillow or a bolster to sit. Lifting your hips above your knees will certainly reduce the amount of discomfort in your backs, hips and knee. After you get mastery in the basic pose, deepen the stretch by folding forward and resting your torso on the top thigh.

Tips

You must make sure to keep your stomach and bowels empty before you practice this pose. Ensure to have your meals at least four to five hours before you do the asana so that your food gets properly digested, and you can expand your body fully during the practice.

For beginners, it might become difficult to cross your legs knee to knee or to lock your fingers on your back. Don’t force your body at any moment. Regular practice will bring the required flexibility to perform this pose more easily and perfectly.

Breathe deeply throughout the pose and relax. Now, don’t wait. Enjoy your yoga practice and have an awesome day! If you feel this article is helpful to you then share your experience with us by commenting below. We would be happy to hear from you!

How to do Kurmasana (Tortoise Pose) & Benefits

You must have seen a Tortoise floating underwater. But, how about a human being becoming a Tortoise and getting so many benefits! It seems interesting, isn’t it? An advanced seated forward bend Pose which looks like a tortoise when you enter into the full pose.

Kurma-Tortoise | Asana-Pose

This asana is pronounced as Koohr-Mah-Sah-Nah, Sanskrit- कूर्मासन. Just like, the hands and legs protrude out from the shell of a tortoise, this asana also resembles in the same shape. Tortoise pose helps to remove belly fat and tones the abdominal muscles. Regular practice of this pose helps to connect with your inner self and you will feel energized.

Benefits of Tortoise Pose

  • Stimulates abdominal organs and improves digestion and respiratory problems.
  • Elongates the spine and lengthens the back muscles.
  • Stretches your leg, back, hips, shoulders and arms.
  • Releases the tightness in your lumbar and sacrum areas.
  • Relaxes the shoulders, head and neck during the posture.
  • Therapeutic for insomnia, constipation, headaches, asthma, flatulence, diabetes and obesity.
  • Increases the blood flow to the body and helps in improving the memory power.

Precautions

If you have any recent medical concerns, discuss with your doctor before practising this yoga pose. Practitioners suffering from hip, shoulder or arm injury, tight lower back muscles, slipped discs, sciatica or chronic arthritis should not practice this pose. It’s advisable to practice this pose under the guidance of a yoga teacher. Women should avoid this pose during menstruation and pregnancy.

Steps to do a perfect Tortoise Pose

  • Sit on the yoga mat with the legs spread out in front of you and arms alongside your hips.
  • Press your thighs into the ground, lift your chest and take few deep breaths.
  • Now, stretch your arms forward in between the legs while bending your torso down and forward.
  • Ensure to bend your knees further so that your shoulders can go beneath your knees.
  • Shift your arms to the sides and bring your thighs inward. While doing that, put pressure on your shoulders to bring your chest and the head down to the mat.Tortoise Pose.JPG
  • Now, straighten your legs and ensure that your side ribs are touching the inner thighs.
  • Try to touch your chin to the ground and extend your arms sideward while looking downwards.
  • Relax your body and hold this posture for few breaths while taking deep breaths.
  • Now, release the pose and relax. Repeat the same procedure for 2 to 3 times.

Variation

If you feel that the Kurmasana is too difficult to attempt initially, then start with Ardha Kurmasana (Half Tortoise Pose). Sit in Vajrasana or Thunderbolt Pose and bend your torso forward with the head touching the floor. Stretch out your arms forward while touching your chest with your thighs.

Supta Kurmasana.png
Photo Credit: Griffin

 

Now, if you have gained the mastery in Kurmasana and want to deepen the pose, then you can try Supta Kurmasana. After you come into the Tortoise pose, take your arms behind your back and clasp your palms together. Now, bring your legs above your arms and head and cross them with one above the other.

Tips

You must make sure to keep your stomach and bowels empty before you practice this pose. Ensure to have your meals at least four to five hours before you do the asana so that your food gets properly digested, and you can expand your body fully during the practice.

Since Kurmasana is an advanced pose, it takes some time to get the mastery and practise it perfectly. Therefore, if you are attempting this asana for the very first time remember not to force your body. Regular practice of this pose will bring required flexibility. It’s advisable to practise this pose under the guidance of an expert yoga teacher. You need to practise the required preparatory poses, before attempting this pose. The Preparatory Poses include Uttanasana, Dhanurasana and Paschimottanasana.

During the posture, if you feel pain in the knees, then slowly move your arms slightly forward from the sides to get relief. If you feel difficult to place the heels of your feet directly on the ground, then place rolled blanket or pillows below your leg to get the support and required comfort.

Now, don’t wait. Enjoy your yoga practice and have an awesome day! If you feel this article is helpful to you then share your experience with us by commenting below. We would be happy to hear from you!

How to do Cat-Cow Pose and it’s Benefits

Are you suffering from back pain and spinal problem? If yes, then this yogic pose has a perfect solution for you. Cat Pose paired with Cow pose stretches your whole body and brings flexibility to the spine. When you sit for long hours in front of a desk, this pose comes to your risk by releasing stress, calms your mind, stretches your neck, prevents the back pain and strengthens the spine.

Marjari-Cat | Bitil-Cow | Asana-Pose

This asana is pronounced as mar-jar-ee-ahh-sanna- bee-tee-LAHS-uh-nuh, Sanskrit- मार्जरीसन-बितिलासन. This posture resembles the body position of a cow and cat.

Benefits of a Cat-Cow Pose

  • Stimulates the abdominal organs and improves digestion.
  • Releases stress, anxiety, depression and calm the mind.
  • Brings flexibility to the spine and stimulates the adrenal glands and kidney.
  • Stretches the neck, back torso and open up the chest.
  • Improves blood circulation throughout the body.
  • Helps to prevent back pain and brings your spine into correct alignment if practised regularly.
  • Strengthens the shoulders, wrists, arms and cures sciatica.
  • Develops postural awareness and improves the balance of your body.

Precautions

If you have any recent medical concerns, discuss with your doctor before practising this yoga pose. It’s advisable to consult your doctor if you have neck or back related problems before you start practising this pose. Ensure to practice this pose under the guidance of an expert yoga teacher if you are suffering from neck or back problems.

Steps to do a perfect Cat-Cow Pose

  • Start on your knees and hands with your knees directly under your hips, and your wrists directly under your shoulders.
  • Spread your fingertips on the top of your yoga mat and press firmly.
  • Now, place your knees and shins hip-width apart. Bring your head into the neutral position and gaze softly at the floor.

Cat-Cow Pose.png

  • First, start with the Cow Pose. Inhale and sink your abdomen towards the ground. Lift your head, chest, and look up towards the ceiling.
  • Extend your shoulder blades and ensure to keep your shoulders away from your ears.
  • Now, move into the Cat Pose. Exhale and bring your belly to your spine and arch your back toward the ceiling.
  • Bring the crown of your head toward the floor, but ensure not to force your chin to your chest.
  • This is one round of Cat-Cow Pose. Now, again Inhale and come back into the Cow Pose, and then exhale and return to the Cat Pose.
  • Repeat this procedure for 10-15 times, and then rest by sitting back on Thunderbolt Pose or Vajrasana.

 Variation

Beginners can practise this pose without any discomfort or pain. But, to make it more easy and comfortable for you, follow the below instructions.

  • If you feel the pain in the kneecaps while performing this pose, then place a firm rolled blanket under your knees. You can also fold your mat and place it instead on the blanket.
  • Place your forearms on the Yoga mat, if your wrists hurt.
  • Pregnant women can place their forearms on a rolled blanket or a bolster to lift their torso more upright.

To deepen the pose, you can stretch out your opposite arm and leg in the Cow Pose. Stay there for few breaths and then draw your elbow to the back and bring your knee to the nose in the Cat Pose.

Tips

You must make sure to keep your stomach and bowels empty before you practice this pose. Ensure to have your meals at least four to five hours before you do the asana so that your food gets properly digested, and you can expand your body fully during the practice.

Practitioners suffering from the neck injuries should keep their head in line with the torso and should not drop their neck back or forward. Pregnant women should only practise Cow Pose while bringing their spine back to the neutral position between the transition of poses. Ensure not to let the belly drop between the transition, as this move can strain your lower back.

You can practise this pose anywhere to get relief from back pain. Now, don’t wait. Enjoy your yoga practice and have an awesome day! If you feel this article is helpful to you then share your experience with us by commenting below. We would be happy to hear from you!