Category Archives: Yoga Practices

Pranamasana – The Prayer Pose

Pranamasana or the Prayer Pose is the starting pose for Surya Namaskara or the Sun Salutation poses. In Pranamasana, the palms are held together in the prayer pose. The word ‘Pranam’ has a Sanskrit root and it means ‘to pay respect’; and asana means a pose. Hence the name Pranamasana.

Tolangulasana – The Weighing Scale Pose

Tolangulasana or the Weighing Scale Pose is good for controlling obesity and toning the abdominal organs. Tolangulasana looks like a weighing scale in the final pose, hence the name. Tolangulasana gives a sense of relaxation and also helps to strengthen the shoulders and arms.

Kandharasana – The Shoulder Pose

Kandharasana or the Shoulder Pose is excellent for strengthening the female reproductive organs and for correcting many vertebral disc problems. Kandharasana relieves menstrual problems and disorders related to the uterus.

Janu Sirsasana – The Head to Knee Pose

Janu Sirsasana or the Head to Knee Pose is an excellent asana to increase flexibility of the hamstring muscles, back, thighs, hip joints, arms and the shoulders. Janu Sirsasana also soothes the mind and calms the heart.

Tadasana – The Palm Tree Pose

Tadasana or the Palm Tree Pose is a good stretching and loosing exercise for the entire body. Tadasana stretches the arms, the chest, the abdominal muscles, the spine and the leg muscles along with giving a sense of balance. This is an easy asana and can be done by all age groups.

Swastikasana – The Auspicious Pose

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 – Unsupported Head Stand

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 – Supported Head Stand

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 – The Gracious Pose

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 – The Scorpion Pose

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.