Category Archives: Yoga Practices
Swastikasana or the Auspicious Pose is an easy meditation pose for those who cannot attempt the more difficult asanas like Padmasana and Siddhasana. The India symbol of Swastika is a symbol of auspiciousness. In Swastikasana, the position of the legs resemble the symbol of the Swastika. The word Swastika comes from the Sanskrit root words – ‘Su’ meaning good, ‘Asti’ means ‘to be’ or ‘existence’ and ‘Ka’ means to make. This asana can be described as one that helps to realize the unity of existence.
Niralamba Sirsasana or the unsupported head stand is a variation of Sirsasana or the classical head stand. Niralamba Sirsasana is more difficult to perform than Sirsasana as it attempts to balance the entire body weight solely on the head in the inverted position.
Salamba Sirsasana or the supported head stand is a variation of Sirsasana or the classical head stand. Salamba Sirsasana is easier to perform than Sirsasana as it provides more footprint for the balancing act.
Bhadrasana or the Gracious Pose is good for activating the Mooladhara chakra. In Sanskrit ‘Bhadra’ means ‘auspicious’ and ‘asana’ means ‘pose’. Bhadrasana is mentioned in the Hatha Yoga text Hatha Yoga Pradeepika and also in the Gheranda Samhita.
Vrishchikasana or the Scorpion Pose is an inverted pose and an advanced yoga asana which has great benefits for the nerves, the endocrine glands and has anti-aging benefits. In Sanskrit, Vrishchika means a Scorpion. In the final position, Vrischikasana resembles the scorpion with its tail lifted upwards. When a scorpion wants to sting its victim, it raises the tail above the back and strikes the victim over the head. This pose resembles a scorpion ready to strike. This pose is usually done at the end of asana practice.
Veerasana or the Hero’s Pose comes from the Sanskrit words ‘Veera’ which means a Hero or a Warrior and ‘Asana’ which means a Pose. Veerasana is called the Hero’s or a Warrior’s pose and can be used an alternate pose for meditation and contemplation. Veerasana is a relatively easy posture, but those suffering from knee and ankle pain should avoid it.
Siddhasana or the accomplished pose is an asana used for meditation and other yogic practices. In Sanskrit ‘Siddha’ means ‘accomplished’ or an ‘adept’ and ‘asana’ means a ‘pose’. Siddhasana is mentioned in the Hatha Yoga text Hatha Yoga Pradeepika as one of the four most powerful sitting poses suited for meditation.
Kurmasana or the Tortoise Pose is so called because the asana looks like a tortoise in the final pose. In Sanskrit, Kurma means tortoise. When we observe a tortoise, we see that only the hands and legs protrude out from the shell. In the final position, this asana imitates the tortoise. Kurmasana tones the entire abdominal muscles, removes belly fat and is good for diabetes.
Naukasana or the Boat Pose stretches the abdominal muscles and tones all organs in the abdomen. In Sanskrit, Nauka means a boat and Asana means pose. In Naukasana the body takes the shape of a boat in the final position, hence the name Naukasana. Naukasana is good for those who wish to reduce belly fat and for developing the Abs muscles.