Hanumanasana – The Monkey Pose

Hanumanasana - 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

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 - 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 - One Foot balancing 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 - 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.

Manduki Mudra – The Frog Gesture

MANDUKI MUDRA

Manduki Mudra or the frog gesture involves rotating the tongue inside the palate and drinking the nectar that is secreted from the top of the head. Manduki mudra is mentioned in the Gheranda Samhita.

Maha Bandha – The Great Lock

Maha bandha

Maha Bandha or the Great Lock combines all the three main Bandhas or locks practised by yogis – Moola Bandha, Uddiyana Bandha and Jalandhara Bandha. Maha in Sanskrit means ‘great’ or ‘supreme’ and Bandha means a lock. Maha Bandha means the great lock and is mentioned in the yogic texts Hatha Yoga Pradeepika, Gheranda Samhita and the Siva Samhita. Maha Bandha is said to activate the prana shakti thereby aiding the awakening of Kundalini Shakti at the base of the spine.

Jalandhara Bandha – The Chin Lock

Jalandhara bandha - Chin Lock

Jalandhara Bandha or the Chin Lock is one of the three main Bandhas or locks practised by yogis. Jalandhara Bandha is described in the yogic texts Hatha Yoga Pradeepika, Gheranda Samhita and the Siva Samhita. Jalandhara Bandha is said to activate the Vishuddhi Chakra.

Uddiyana Bandha – The Abdominal Lock

Uddiyana bandha - Abdominal Lock

Uddiyana Bandha or the Abdominal Lock is one of the three main Bandhas or locks practised by yogis. Uddiyana Bandha is described in the yogic texts Hatha Yoga Pradeepika, Gheranda Samhita and the Siva Samhita. Uddiyana Bandha is said to activate the Manipuraka Chakra and channels the pranic energy upwards.