Bakasana – The Crane Pose

Bakasana or the Crane Pose looks like a crane patiently waiting to catch its prey. In Sanskrit, ‘baka’ means ‘crane’ and ‘asana’ means ‘pose’. There are many variations of Bakasana, depicting the crane in various poses. The most popular version that is practiced is called the Baka Dhyanasana which looks like a crane meditating in stillness, concentrating on its prey and waiting for the final kill.

Trikonasana – The Triangle Pose

Trikonasana or the triangle pose is a good stretching exercise which gives flexibility to the spine and pelvic region. In Sanskrit ‘trikona’ means ‘three corners’ or a ‘triangle’.

Trikonasana is an excellent posture to develop strength and balance. It also gives flexibility to the legs, waist and knees.

Sukhasana – The Easy Sitting Pose

Sukhasana or the easy sitting pose is one of the simplest pose for meditation suited for all beginners. Sukhasana comes from the Sanskrit work ‘Sukham’ which can mean ‘comfort’ , ‘easy’, ‘joyful’, ‘pleasure’, etc. Sukhasana can be done by all age groups.

Kechari Mudra – The Tongue Lock

Kechari Mudra is considered the king among mudras. In Sanskrit, the word ‘Kha’ indicates Brahman or the Supreme Reality and ‘Chara’ means to move. Kechari Mudra helps the practitioner to move in the blissful infinite consciousness of Brahman. Kechari is an advanced practice that enables the yogi to reach higher states of consciousness.

Sheetkari Pranayama – The Hissing Breath

Sheetkari Pranayama or the Hissing Breath is ususally done after practicing other asanas and pranayamas. Sheetkari Pranayama cools the body. Sheetkari pranayama is mentioned in the yoga text Hatha Yoga Pradeepika.

Sheetali Pranayama – The Cooling Breath

Sheetali Pranayama or the cooling breath is usually done after practicing other asanas and pranayamas. Sheetali Pranayama cools the body. Sheetali in sanskrit means ‘cooling’. Sheetali pranayama is mentioned in the yoga texts Hatha Yoga Pradeepika and Gheranda Samhita.

Bhramari Pranayama – The Humming Bee Breath

Bhramari Pranayama or the humming Bee Breath produces a sound similar to the humming of a bee. Bhramari comes from the Sanskrit word ‘Bramar’ which means a kind of black Indian bee. Bhramari pranayama has a soothing effect on the brain and calms the mind.

Nasikagra Drishti – Nose Tip Gazing Mudra

Nasikagra Drishti or Agochari Mudra means “Nose tip gazing”. In Sanskrit, ‘Nasika’ means the nose and ‘agra’ means the end or the tip. ‘Drishti’ means the sight. Thus, Nasikagra Drishti literally means gazing at the tip of the nose. Nasikagra Drishti is a powerful practice to develop concentration and is used in conjunction with many meditation techniques.

Shambhavi Mudra – The Eyebrow Center Gazing Gesture

Shambhavi Mudra is a highly regarded practice in yogic and tantric texts. Shambhavi is a powerful mudra used during meditation to still the mind and to experience higher stages of consciousness. Shambhavi mudra is mentioned in the yogic text Gheranda Samhita. Shambhavi mudra essentially involves gazing at the eyebrow center.

Simhasana – The Lion Pose

Simhasana or the Lion Pose resembles a squatting lion in the final pose. In Sanskrit, ‘Simha’ means ‘Lion’ and ‘asana’ means ‘pose’. Simhasana is relatively easy to perform and can be done by all, from any age group.