Category Archives: Yoga Practices

Anulom Vilom Pranayama – Alternate Nostril Breathing

Anulom Vilom Pranayama or alternate nostril breathing exercise is one of the main practices of Pranayama. Anulom Vilom Pranayama is mentioned in the yogic texts Hatha Yoga Pradeepika, Gheranda Samhita, Tirumandiram, Siva Samhita, Puranas and in the Upanishads.

Bhastrika Pranayama – The Bellow’s Breath

Bhastrika Pranayama is one of the main forms of Pranayama. In Sanskrit, Bhastrika means the ‘bellows ’. Just as the blacksmith blows his bellows to create heat and purify iron, Bhastrika is said to purify the mind and clear pranic blocks.

Kapalbhati Pranayama – The Skull Shining Breathing Excercise

Kapalbhati (or Kapalabhati) is one of the six Shatkarmas or methods of internal purification in Hatha Yoga. In Sanskrit, Kapal means the skull and Bhati means to shine or illuminate. Kapalbhati cleans the cranial sinuses and hence the name.

Sarvangasana – The Shoulder Stand Pose

Sarvangasana or the shoulder stand pose comes from the Sanskrit words – ‘Sarva’ which means ‘all’ and ‘Anga’ which means ‘part’. Sarvangasana involves all parts of the body as the name suggests. Sarvangasana is one of the main inverted asanas which gives plenty of health benefits. Sarvangasana has become part of most yoga routine.

Trataka – Yoga to Develop Power of Concentration

Trataka is a Hatha Yoga method to develop concentration. Trataka is a simple, yet powerful practice and is one of the six purification methods or Shatkarmas, taught in Hatha Yoga. The technique has to do with gazing or fixing the eyes on one point, either on an object or on a candle flame.

Paschimottanasana – The Forward Bend Yogic Pose

Paschimottanasana or the seated forward bend pose gives a complete stretch to the back muscles. In Sanskrit ‘Paschima’  means ‘west’ or ‘back’ and ‘uttana’ means ‘stretch’ or ‘extended’. Paschimottanasana gives an intense stretch to all the back muscles.

Matsyasana – The Fish Pose

Matsyasana or the fish Pose can be used to float on water in the final pose like a fish. In Sanskrit “matsya” means fish. Matsyasana is easy to perform and is used as a counter pose for many other yoga asanas.

Vipareeta Karani Asana – Inverted Pose

Vipareeta Karani Asana or the inverted pose, comes from the Sanskrit word – ‘Vipareeta’ means ‘inverted’ and ‘karani’ means ‘doing’. Vipareeta karani asana is one of the simplest of the inverted asanas and hence easy to perform.

Ardha Matsyendrasana – Half Spinal Twist Pose

Ardha Matsyendrasana or the half spinal twist pose is one the main asanas practiced in hatha yoga. In sanskrit ‘ardha’ means ‘half’, ‘matsya’ means ‘fish’, ‘indra’ means ‘king’ and ‘asana’ means ‘pose’. Ardha Matsyendrasana literally means the half twist pose of the king of fishes.

Supta Vajrasana – Supine Thunderbolt Pose

Supta Vajrasana or the ‘Supine Thunderbolt Pose’ is a variation of Vajrasana or the thunderbolt pose. The starting position for supta vajrasana is same as vajrasana, but the ultimate position looks very different.