Meru Vakrasana – The Simple Spinal Twist Pose

Meru Vakrasana or the simple spinal twist pose is a preliminary asana practiced before taking up the practice of the more difficult Ardha Matsyendrasana. Meru Vakrasana stretches the spinal cord and relieves back pain. It is a fairly simple asana and can be done by beginners and practitioners of any age group.

Paschima Namaskarasana – Reverse Prayer Pose

Paschima Namaskarasana or the reverse prayer pose is also called the Viparita Namaskarasana. In Sanskrit, Paschima means west or in this context the back; Namaskara means Greetings and Asana means a Pose. This asana can be done in either the standing or the sitting posture. Paschima Namaskarasana is good for opening up the shoulder joints.

Anahatasana – Heart Melting Pose

Anahatasana or the heart melting pose is soothing to the heart. In Sanskrit, Anahata means the heart and Asana means a pose. It is also known as the half-dog pose and opens up the shoulders. It stimulates the heart center or the Anahata chakra.

Eka Pada Pranamasana – One-legged Prayer Pose

Eka Pada Pranamasana or the one-legged prayer pose is a balancing asana. In Sanskrit, Eka means one, Pada means foot, Pranama means prayer and Asana means pose. Eka Pada Pranamasana is the one-legged prayer pose.

Hanumanasana – The Monkey Pose

Hanumanasana or the Monkey Pose is named after Hanuman, the divine being resembling a Monkey in the Indian epic Ramayana. Hanumanasana helps to open up the groin and stretches the hamstring muscles. It is a wonderful pose for developing flexibility of the leg muscles.

Maha Mudra – The Great Gesture

Maha Mudra or the Great Gesture is the first Mudra mentioned in both Hatha Yoga Pradeepika and Gheranda Samhita. In Sanskrit, Maha means great and Mudra means a gesture, attitude or seal. Maha Mudra is a technique to raise the human consciousness to higher levels and for improving health.

Kukkutasana – The Cockerel Pose

Kukkutasana or the Cockerel Pose benefits the arms and shoulders. In Sanskrit ‘kukkuta’ means a ‘cockerel’ or a ‘rooster’ and ‘asana’ means a ‘pose’. In the final position, it resembles a rooster.

Eka Padasana – One Foot Pose

Eka Padasana or One Foot Pose is a balancing asana. Eka Padasana is useful to improve neuro-muscular coordination of the body. Eka Padasana is a balancing pose and gives a sense of control of bodily movements to the practitioner.

Uttanpadasana – The Raised Leg Pose

Uttanpadasana or the Raised Leg Pose is beneficial for those suffering from lower back pain. In Sanskrit the meaning of Uttanpadasana is the raised leg pose. Uttanpadasana is an excellent exercise to strengthen the abdominal muscles and the lower back. It is relatively easy to practice.

Nabho Mudra – The Sky Gesture

Nabho Mudra or the sky mudra involves the tongue touching the upper palate and is similar to Kechari mudra. In Sanskrit, the word ‘nabha’ indicates sky and mudra means a gesture. Nabho mudra is mentioned in Gheranda Samhita and is practiced by meditators from various traditions.