Category Archives: Yoga Practices
Utkatasana or the Chair Pose comes from the Sanskrit words Utkata meaning fierce or intense and asana meaning a pose. Utkatasana is a yogic pose which resembles sitting on a chair (without a chair, of course), and hence popularly called the Chair Pose.
Virabhadrasana or the warrior pose is a series of yoga poses each having its distinctive benefit. In Sanskrit, Vira means brave, Bhadra means friend and Asana means a Pose. Virabhadrasana is named after the legendary warrior Virabhadra in Puranas. In the Puranic lore, it is said that Virabhadra was created by Lord Shiva from his hair, to destroy the arrogance of Daksha who refused to invite his daughter Sati while conducting a Yagna.
Ardha Kapotasana or the Half Pigeon Pose resembles a pigeon in the final position. In Sanskrit, Ardha means half, Kapota means Pigeon and Asana means a pose. It is an intermediate level pose and helps to open up the hips and groin muscles.
Ardha Kapotasana is an excellent pose to bring flexibility to the hips and legs. Those who wish to master Padmasana can practice Ardha Kapotasana to open up the hips and to make the leg muscles flexible.
Utkata Konasana or the Goddess Pose is also known as the Fierce Angle Pose. In Sanskrit, Utkata means fierce, Kona means angle and Asana means a pose. Utkata Konasana, also called the Goddess Squat Pose benefits the hips, the abdomen, chest, groins and leg muscles.
Utkata Konasana is easy to perform and is excellent practice for women to widen and strengthen the uterus before and during pregnancy.
Pawanmuktasana or the Gas Release Pose improves digestion and relieves constipation. In Sanskrit, Pawan means air or wind, Mukta means to free and Asana means a Pose. This pose is known to relieve gas and improve digestive function and hence the name.
Baddha Padmasana or the Locked Lotus Pose is mentioned in Gheranda Samhita. Baddha Padmasana is a meditation pose that gives physical and mental stability. In Hatha Yoga Pradeepika, Padmasana or the classical Lotus pose is considered one of the four main siting poses for meditation. Baddha Padmasana is an enhanced form of the classical Lotus pose
Yoni Mudra is so called because the practice leads the yogi to a state of mind similar to the one experienced in the womb. Yoni Mudra involves closing the two ears, the two eyes, the nose and the mouth with the fingers. This helps to cut off all the external inputs to the sense organs and the gaze of the practitioner is fixed on the inner activity.
Sirsasana or the head stand pose is the most important among inverted asanas. In Sanskrit the word ‘sirsha’ means ‘head’ and ‘asana’ means pose. Sirsasana is considered the king of all asanas and is usually done at the end of the yoga asana practices.
Seated Eagle Pose or the seated Garudasana opens up the joints in the arms and shoulders. In Sanskrit, Garuda is the name of the eagle which is the vehicle of Lord Vishnu. In the seated eagle pose, the two arms are brought together and the two fore-arms are twisted together. It gives a good stretch to the arms and the shoulder muscles.
Maha Bheda Mudra or the Great Piercing Attitude is mentioned in both Hatha Yoga Pradeepika and Gheranda Samhita. In Sanskrit, Maha means great, Bheda means to pierce and Mudra means a gesture, attitude or seal. Maha Bheda Mudra is to be practiced along with Maha Mudra and Moola Bandha. It is highly recommended by yogis.