Anulom Vilom Pranayama or alternate nostril breathing exercise is one of the main practices of Pranayama. Anulom Vilom Pranayama is mentioned in the yogic texts Hatha Yoga Pradeepika, Gheranda Samhita, Tirumandiram, Siva Samhita, Puranas and in the Upanishads.
Bhastrika Pranayama is one of the main forms of Pranayama. In Sanskrit, Bhastrika means the ‘bellows ’. Just as the blacksmith blows his bellows to create heat and purify iron, Bhastrika is said to purify the mind and clear pranic blocks.
Kapalbhati (or Kapalabhati) is one of the six Shatkarmas or methods of internal purification in Hatha Yoga. In Sanskrit, ‘Kapal’ means the skull and ‘Bhati’ means to shine or illuminate. Kapalbhati cleans the cranial sinuses and hence the name.
Sarvangasana or the shoulder stand pose comes from the Sanskrit words – ‘Sarva’ which means ‘all’ and ‘Anga’ which means ‘part’. Sarvangasana involves all parts of the body as the name suggests. Sarvangasana is one of the main inverted asanas which gives plenty of health benefits. Sarvangasana has become part of most yoga routine.
Trataka is a Hatha Yoga method to develop concentration. Trataka is a simple, yet powerful practice and is one of the six purification methods or Shatkarmas, taught in Hatha Yoga. The technique has to do with gazing or fixing the eyes on one point, either on an object or on a candle flame.
Niyama in Yoga Sutras is the second step in Ashtanga Yoga, the eight fold limbs of Yoga. ‘Niyama’ deals mostly with our internal self-discipline rather than external ethical behavior. Yoga tradition has given much importance to development of a balanced personality before taking up higher practices of yoga.
Paschimottanasana or the seated forward bend pose gives a complete stretch to the back muscles. In Sanskrit ‘Paschima’ means ‘west’ or ‘back’ and ‘uttana’ means ‘stretch’ or ‘extended’. Paschimottanasana gives an intense stretch to all the back muscles.
Yama in the Yoga Sutras is the first step in “Ashtanga Yoga” or the eight limbs of Yoga. Yama deals mostly with our external ethical behavior. Yoga tradition has given much importance to developing a balanced personality before taking up higher practices of yoga.
Matsyasana or the fish Pose can be used to float on water in the final pose like a fish. In Sanskrit “matsya” means fish. Matsyasana is easy to perform and is used as a counter pose for many other yoga asanas.